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Zander Murray talks ‘coming out’

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Zander Murray talks ‘coming out’

The first openly gay Scottish senior football player Zander Murray says the reaction to him coming out has been “incredible”.

After making history earlier this month, Zander told Lorraine Kelly, “I’m riding the wave. It’s absolutely incredible. A weight has lifted off my shoulders – I’m just feeling myself for the first time in my life.”

He explained how he’d come out to close friends and family last April, and said other gay people in the public eye helped give him the confidence to be himself. Zander explained, “There were not a lot of role models I could look up to… That’s probably why I was closeted for so long. We don’t have the pillars of the community that we have now that helped me to come out. It’s been incredible”

“Women’s football is exemplary – it’s not news when people come out. They can just live their day-to-day life which I honestly hope I can be another pillar [helping] men’s football reach that stage.”

Lorraine asked him about Tom Daley reaching out with messages of support.

“Like yourself Lorraine, he is an absolute icon,” Zander laughed. “He messaged me when I was on the way back from football training in a car with four boys, and I had tears in my eyes seeing his direct message. I messaged him back and went, ‘Look, I’m in a car on the way back from football with four boys and I’ve got tears in my eyes and I don’t even care – I’ve fully accepted myself.’ He’s been amazing.”

Of his team, Gala Fairydean Rovers FC, and his teammates, Zander explained, “Top to toe that football club is magnificent. They’ve been incredible. If anything it’s strengthened my connections.”

He explained how he will be speaking about being a gay footballer at a grassroots level and in schools, saying, “If it supports and empowers one person, it’s done its job.”

Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV & ITV Hub

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