Ex-Premier League footballer says two ex-teammates in England were openly gay | inside World Soccer

Ex-Premier League footballer says two ex-teammates in England were openly gay

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

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Former Premier League player Carl Hoefkens has claimed he played alongside two gay teammates during his time in England.

The 39-year-old joined Stoke City in 2005 and spent two seasons at the club before moving to West Bromwich Albion, with whom he won promotion to the Premier League.

And now Hoefkens revealed to De Zondag that two of his former teammates in England were gay - but asked him and the rest of the squad to keep it quiet.

I played alongside three gay footballers, including one who was a genuinely big name.

One was at Club Brugge, and the other two were in England. I won't name names as I respect their requests.

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

The former Belgium international, who once posed in a gay magazine, has now called for the taboo surrounding homosexual footballers to end.

I find it strange that homosexuality is still a taboo in football. It is a pity.

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

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

Justin Fashanu, who committed suicide in 1998, was the last active player in England to come out as gay back in 1990.

Former Germany and Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger came out in 2014 - a year after he retired from professional football.

And ex-Leeds United player Robbie Rogers revealed he was gay then retired from the game in February 2013. Months later he signed for the Los Angeles Galaxy and continues to play in the MLS.

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