Former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas reveals homophobic attack

  • 19/11/2018
Gareth Thomas at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Gareth Thomas at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Photo credit: Getty

Former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas has revealed being the victim of a hate crime, after he was assaulted in Cardiff over the weekend.   

The 44-year-old, who came out as gay in 2009 - two years after retiring from rugby - posted a video on his Twitter page, saying he was targeted because of his sexuality.

Thomas has cuts and bruises on his face, as he thanked police and the people of Cardiff for helping him.

"This morning, I decided to make what I hope will be a positive video," Thomas said. "Last night, I was the victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality.

"Why I want it to be positive is because I want to say thank you to the police who were involved and have allowed me to do restorative justice with the people who did this, because I thought they could learn more this way than any other way.

"And also to the people of Cardiff, who supported me and helped me, because there's a lot of people out there who want to hurt us.

"But unfortunately for them, there's a lot more that want to help us heal."

Officers dealt with a 16-year-old boy by way of restorative justice, after a request by Thomas.

"We can confirm a local 16-year-old boy was dealt with by way of restorative justice following the incident at around 9pm," stated South Wales Police.

"Restorative justice was at the request of Mr Thomas and accepted by the teenager, who admitted assault and was apologetic for his actions.

"Hate crime has no place in society and has always been a priority for South Wales Police."

Openly gay international rugby referee Nigel Owens said he felt sorry for Thomas in a Tweet.

"So sad and sorry to hear this, Gar," he said. "Totally unacceptable and cowardly behaviour.

"Well done for the way you have dealt with it too. Stand tall and proud, my friend - we are all totally supportive of you and stand with you against these yobs."

Thomas, who played fullback and wing, won 100 caps for Wales, and captained the national side and the British & Irish Lions.

He came out of retirement in 2010 to play rugby league for Welsh club Crusaders and went onto represent his country four times in the 13-man code.

He then retired the following year, after breaking his arm and failing to reach full fitness.