Gareth Thomas opens up about the first time he ever had sex with another man in the latest episode of Attitude Heroes.

Editor-in-chief Matt Cain has an in-depth chat the former Welsh rugby captain –  available to listen to and download now – who reveals intimate details about growing up as a closeted gay man in a rural Welsh town.

The sportsman admits it was tough for him to come to terms with his sexuality, and explains that the first time he had gay sex he was left feeling “dirty” and ashamed.

He also discusses growing up gay in rural Wales, his long struggle to accept his attraction to men, and the pressure he experienced when he publicly came out as gay.

“I remember going home and facing my Mum and Dad and obviously no one had known what I’d done and I literally felt like the dirtiest person alive.

“I’d had all these feelings for so long, but I’d never acted on it so it was suppressed, but all of a sudden it had become a reality. And it was fucking really scary, like opening Pandora’s Box.

“I thought, “Fuck, what have I done, what have I started here?” And I fucking scrubbed, literally scrubbed myself.”

His struggle to accept his sexuality and the battle with having to lead a double life became so much for him to bear that Gareth once considered suicide.

He says: “Life was shit. It was really really bad. But I didn’t want to not hear my mum and dad’s voice anymore. I didn’t want to not hear them laugh.

“But I thought I’d lose it all. I thought I’d lose the fact that people respected who I was, respected what I’d done, all the hard work I’d put in to get there would be lost.

“My team-mates, my coaches, my family, the fact my old man would go on a Sunday morning to the pub with the jersey with my name on the back. All of a sudden that was going to fucking stop,” adds the star.

Listen to the full interview with Gareth Thomas in episode one of Attitude Heroes – available to download free from iTunes or other podcast platforms now.

Attitude Heroes is produced by Wisebuddah and sponsored by the GREAT Britain campaign, which welcomes the world to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK.