Words: Steve Brown
Openly gay rugby player Keegan Hirst has been appointed as the latest celebrity ambassador for the Armed Forces charity, SSAFA.
Hirst – who became the first British professional rugby league footballer to come out back in 2015 – currently plays for Wakefield Trinity R.L.F.C and has joined the charity to help promote fundraising events.
He said: “I have so much respect for those in the serving and veteran community and am honoured to be able to lend my support to SSAFA.
“I’m hoping to use my profile to get more people signing up for a SSAFA challenge event, to raise vital funds for those who are struggling in the Armed Forces community.”
Hirst joins the likes of historian Dan Snow, Joanna Lumley, Dame Vera Lynn, Antony Cotton and Ant Middleton as ambassadors for the charity.
James Grant, head of corporate fundraising and events at SSAFA, said: “Our celebrity ambassadors are carefully chosen and before we appoint anyone, we talk to our beneficiaries about which public figures they view as inspirational.
“The serving community greatly admire professional players for the dedication and talent it takes to make it at this level.
“We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Keegan to SSAFA and the Armed Forces family.”