LIVE HEADLINER: Gareth Thomas
Gareth Thomas was the first Welsh player to reach 100 caps and is one of the most iconic and respected figures in world rugby. Thomas’s career began in a small youth club in Bridgend, and has since rocketed into the stratospheres, with his 1995 hat-trick debut for Wales marking the beginning of an exceptional international career.
He was captain of Wales’ Grand Slam winning team in 2005, and also captained the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand that year. In 2005, he was named BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in recognition of his unique standing.
In March 2010 Gareth Thomas made a brave switch to Rugby League where he spent two seasons with the Crusaders in March 2010. His performances were nothing short of remarkable and he earned six Wales Rugby League caps and four tries. In 2011 Thomas announced his retirement from the game.
Thomas’s personal life hit the headlines in December 2009 when he famously revealed to the world that he was gay. This iconic revelation made him the first high profile sportsman in the world to come out as gay whilst still playing. Whilst he never downplays the significance of this achievement, he hopes to see a day when it is no longer an issue in the game at all.
Thomas has been regular speaker on the corporate circuit, addressing LGBT issues with the same vigour and enthusiasm with which he approached his playing career.
In 2019 Gareth Thomas further inspired when he announced that he is living with HIV. His revelation was welcomed as an important step in breaking down stigma and helping the world better understand the subject.
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