Thirst-Trapping with Rugby Pro Keegan Hirst as He Announces His Retirement

Wednesday October 14, 2020

Keegan Hirst
Keegan Hirst  (Source:Instagram)

Keegan Hirst, the UK's first openly gay professional rugby player, has announced his retirement from professional rugby, the BBC reports.

In 2015 Hirst, now 32, became the first British player to come out as gay while playing the sport.

He played for Championship club Halifax in the shortened 2020 season, having previously featured at Super League level for Wakefield.

"The prop had agreed to return to his former club Batley Bulldogs in 2021 but has opted to end his career," writes the BBC.

Hirst announced his retirement in a tweet that began: "Thank you Rugby League. It's been emotional."

In an extended statement he added that his decision came with a "touch of sadness" and he has " a hell of a lot of memories."

"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."

He ended with: "Be brave, be bold. Embrace change and f***ing go for it. What's the worst that could happen? It's been a blast."

In August, 2015, Hirst came out in an interview with the Daily Mirror in which he revealed "the secret torment of dealing with his sexuality while carving out a career in one of the world's most macho sports."

At the time Hirst was married with two children and had difficulty coming to terms with his sexuality.

"I tick every macho box. How could I be gay? I'm from Batley for goodness sake. No one is gay in Batley," he told the Mirror.

"The only time I felt free of the torment was when I stepped on the rugby pitch. Now I feel free."

When he realized that his wife was blaming herself for their failing marriage, he decided he had to tell her. "She blamed herself when we ­separated but I knew she'd done nothing wrong. I couldn't bear it any more, the guilt of it all, of her not knowing why I left. It was eating me up."

When he told her, his news came as a surprise.

"She didn't say anything at first. I explained why and how I felt, it was very emotional. We were both in tears.

"She didn't ask a lot of questions, but she was supportive. She was totally blind-sided. She'd had absolutely no idea."

He told the Mirror that he began having feelings towards men when he was 15, but suppressed them.

"By the time I was 18, I was in complete denial, hoping it would go away. It was inconceivable to tell anybody how I was feeling."

Adding: "Especially as a rugby player and a lad who grew up on a council estate. You go out, go drinking, carrying on — that's what you do. I convinced myself, no way could I be gay, it was inconceivable."

He was 19 when he met the woman he would marry. They had their first child, a daughter, a year later. They married in 2011 and had their son in 2012.

Hirst thought his marriage would fix everything; instead he drank too much and stayed out all night (but never cheated on his wife). "At his lowest, Keegan says, he considered taking his own life. "On the worst days I'd think, 'I can't do this, I'd rather be dead than for it all to come out,'" reported the Mirror.

Instead he came to terms with his sexuality. "One day, a few months ago, I just thought, 'You know what? Actually, this is who I am. I'm gay. I felt I could finally be honest with myself."

Weeks after coming out, Hirst participated in a thirst-trap calendar where he appeared in the nude with his Batley Bulldogs teammate Joe Chandler, reported Outsports.

Hirst has yet to announce what's he's doing next, but the NSFW website The Sword writes: "Hirst hasn't said what his next career move is going to be, but we're assuming that he's going to continue his work as a trainer. Right now he works in "helping gay men build incredible bodies and unstoppable confidence." You check out his Instagram for progress photos from the people he's worked with."

Here are some thirst-trap pics of Hirst:

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