Nigel Owens has been honoured with the Hero Award at The Virgin Holidays Attitude Awards, powered by Jaguar.

The openly gay rugby referee was presented with the award by former England rugby union captain Chris Robshaw at the star-studded event at London’s Roundhouse on Thursday night (October 12).

The Welshman refereed the World Cup Final between Australia and New Zealand at Twickenham in 2015, but much of his hugely successful career took place while he was still in the closet.

After a suicide attempt in 1997, Owens got his life back on track and in 2007 he made the brave decision to come out publicly. He’s since shared his story in a bid to help others, and encourage those in the sporting world to come out and embrace who they are.

That’s why he’s our Hero.

Read more about this year’s winners in the November issue of Attitude. Buy in printsubscribe or download now.

Photographs: Leon Csernohlavek