The winner of Mr Gay Europe 2017 has been announced, and it's good news for the English.
Mr Gay England, aka 37-year-old Matt Rood
from Brighton, was crowned the winner of this year's pageant in Stockholm, Sweden, beating Mr Gay Ireland into second place in the tightly-fought competition, which concluded during Stockholm Pride on Saturday (August 5)
Matt, who works as a professional dog walker and trainer, won the title after winning the Social Media Challenge (SoMe) and “My Project” challenge, coming second in the preliminary interview, the photo challenge and the sports challenge, and coming third in the written test and fourth in the online vote. His total score came to 845 out of maximum 1200.
Celebrating on Twitter following his victory, Matt wrote: "I am totally honoured and proud to have won Mr Gay Europe 2017 and bring the title home to ENGLAND."
Commenting on Mr Gay England's win, the president of Mr Gay Europe, Tore Aasheim, said: "Matt Rood is one of the most dedicated and hardworking gay activist that I have had the honour to get to know through Mr Gay Europe."
"With his big heart, his kind attitude but also strong devotion, and with a project that shows that he really put his money where his mouth is, Matt both showed us his commitment and the fact that you don’t need to be a twink to win Mr Gay Europe".
In a statement submitted before he took part in the competition, Matt said he hoped to use the platform to promote same-sex adoption and fostering.
"Taking part would enable me to use this as a platform to help promote equality in the adoption and fostering services," he wrote.
"As a former foster carer and an out and proud gay man I have knowledge and experience of this subject and would like to encourage a positive attitude globally."
Saturday's final in Stockholm saw a a clean-sweep for the British Isles after Scotland came in third place and Wales fourth, both ahead of Mr Gay Portugal, who finished in fifth.
Matt will hold the title of Mr Gay Europe, the LGBTI Ambassador until next year's competition, which will be held in Poland from 4-12 August 2018.
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