Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Current Affairs

Premier League footballer reveals two of his two teammates are gay

Josh Jackman October 23, 2017
Manchester United's Portuguese midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo (L) vies with West Bromwich Albion's Belgium defender Carl Hoefkens during the English Premier league football match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, central England, on January 27, 2009. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY Additional licence required for any commercial/promotional use or use on TV or internet (except identical online version of newspaper) of Premier League/Football League photos. Tel DataCo +44 207 2981656. Do not alter/modify photo. (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

Hoefkens and Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty)

A former Premier League footballer has revealed that two of his teammates in England were out as gay to the rest of the squad.

Carl Hoefkens, who played for Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion, also said he had a gay teammate while in Belgium.

There has never been an out gay footballer in the Premier League.

Club Brugge's player Carl Hoefkens speaks during a press conference on November 21, 2012 in Bruges on the eve of their Europa League match against Bordeaux. AFP PHOTO / BELGA BRUNO FAHY (Photo credit should read BRUNO FAHY/AFP/Getty Images)
(Getty)

The last player to come out while playing was Justin Fashanu, who came out in 1990 but died by suicide in 1998 after years of homophobic abuse.

Hoefkens, who played 22 times for Belgium, told Belgian outlet De Zondag: “I played alongside three gay footballers, including one who was a genuinely big name.

WEST BROMWICH, UNITED KINGDOM -JANUARY 27:   Carl Hoefkens of West Bromwich Albion battles for the ball with Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United at The Hawthorns on January 27, 2009 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“They did not hide who they were in the dressing-room.

“One was at Club Brugge, and the other two were in England.”

He said these former colleagues were still in the closet, but were open about their sexuality when they were playing with him.

“I won’t name names as I respect their requests,” said Hoefkens.

GHENT, BELGIUM - APRIL 28:  Carl Hoefkens of Club Brugge KV in action during the Belgian Jupiler Pro League Play-Off Group 1 match between KAA Gent and Club Brugge KV held at the Jules Ottenstadion on April 28, 2012 in Ghent, Belgium. (Photo by Kristof Van Accom/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“One of them would even arrive at training with his boyfriend.

“They asked us to keep quiet to the outside world, but don’t ask me why.”

Hoefkens, 39, posed for a gay magazine five years ago with the caption: “gay is okay”.

BRUGGE, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 4: Carl Hoefkens of Club Brugge KV in action during the UEFA Europa League group stage match between Club Brugge KV and CS Maritimo held on October 4, 2012 at the Jan Breydelstadion in Brugge, Belgium. (Photo by Virginie Lefour/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
(Getty)

And the Belgium international said: “I find it strange that homosexuality is still a taboo in football. It is a pity.

“I didn’t hesitate for a second to pose for the magazine. That was during a time of renewed violence against gays.

BRUGGE, BELGIUM - SEPTEMBER 24:   Carl Hoefkens of Club Brugge KV (C) celebrates with his teammates during the Jupiler Pro League match between Club Brugge and RAEC Mons at the Jan Breydel Stadium on September 24, 2011 in Brugge,Belgium. (Photo by Kristof Van Accom/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“My parents always taught me that all men are equal, including their sexual orientation,” he added.”

“I hope that a top player will one day stand up and announce: ‘I’m gay – so what?’ Then the taboo will finally disappear.

“If I were gay I would do it for certain,” claimed the former defender.

Brugge's defender Carl Hoefkens reacts during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 football match Hannover 96  vs Club Brugge KV in Hanover, northern Germany, on February 16, 2012. Hannover wins 2-1.  AFP PHOTO / OLIVER HARDT (Photo credit should read OLIVER HARDT/AFP/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“This is something that is generally accepted in society after all.”

Earlier this year, an openly gay referee officiated a professional football match for the first time in England.

Manchester United star Paul Pogba has also said he’d welcome a gay player in the Premier League.

BRUGGE, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 4:  Carl Hoefkens of Club Brugge KV in action during the UEFA Europa League group stage match between Club Brugge KV and CS Maritimo held on October 4, 2012 at the Jan Breydelstadion in Brugge, Belgium. (Photo by Virginie Lefour/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
(Getty)

And Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said in March that he would not hesitate to sign a gay footballer to the club.

Former Leeds United player Robbie Rogers and former Aston Villa player Thomas Hitzlsperger have both come out as gay in recent years, but only after leaving English football.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21:  Thomas Hitzlsperger of West Ham United celebrates the opening goal during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON 5th Round match between West Ham United and Burnley at the Boleyn Ground on February 21, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
(Getty)

Earlier this year, non-league footballer Liam Davis made history when he became the first out gay male footballer to play at Wembley Stadium, as he represented Cleethorpes Town in the FA Vase final.

But FA boss Greg Clarke has admitted that men’s football is “two decades” behind the women’s game when it comes to its attitude to homosexuality.

More: Carl Hoefkens, football, footballer, Gay, premier league, sport, Stoke, Stoke City, west brom, west bromwich albion

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon