Keegan Hirst has announced his retirement from the Rugby League.
In 2015, Hirst became the first British player to come out as gay while still playing the sport professionally, in an interview with The Mirror.
Hirst, now 32, last played for Championship club Halifax.
Speaking out on Twitter yesterday, the sportsman said: "Thank you Rugby League. It’s been emotional.
"Thank you to all my teammates, opponents, coaches, staff and mostly, the fans.
"Remember, Rugby League is ALWAYS the winner."
“It’s been a blast"
Sharing an inspiring extended statement on the social media platform, Hirst also said: “So, I’ve decided to retire from rugby league, the game that has been part of my life for the last 20 years.
“It’s with a touch of sadness, a hell of a lot of memories, and a hell of a lot of gratitude that I say farewell to RL.
Thank you Rugby League. It’s been emotional.
Thank you to all my teammates, opponents, coaches, staff and mostly, the fans.
Remember, Rugby League is ALWAYS the winner. pic.twitter.com/Vtu8jjXnpA— Keegan Hirst (@KeeganHirst) October 8, 2020
“I speak a lot about living according to your values and doing what’s important to you. That changes over time for everyone, and I myself have come to that point.
“I’m moving onto the next chapter of my life, having taken so much and given so much (both ankles and a front tooth, to name a few things) to the game that has been a constant in my life for over two decades.
"Do what you love for as long as you can, but don't do it because of a sense of obligation or pleasing someone else. Nobody benefits from that. Trust me on that one.
"Be brave, be bold. Embrace change and f***ing go for it. What's the worst that could happen?
“It’s been a blast.”
Best of luck in the future, Keegan! We can't wait to see what you do next!