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Former Aston Villa and Everton player Thomas Hitzlsperger announces that he is gay

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Former Aston Villa, West Ham and Everton midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has announced he is gay  in German newspaper Die Zeit. 

Hitzlsperger is only the fourth professional footballer to come out pubic, with former United States and Leeds United winger Robbie Rogers coming out as gay last year. Both had retired before they made the announcement.

Swedish lower league player Anton Hysen, son of former Liverpool player Glenn Hysen, publicly announced his homosexuality in an interview with a Swedish football magazine in 2011.

The only British player to come out publically as gay remains Justin Fashanu in 1990, before he tragically took his own life eight years later, aged 37.

Hitzlsperger retired from the sport in September 2013 at the age of 31 after a series of injury problems.

He made his name at Aston Villa, where he spent five years from 2000 after coming through at Bayern Munich. Hitzlsperger also enjoyed a successful international career, making his first senior international bow in 2004, and making over 50 appearances in total.

 

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