WELSH RUGBY STAR Gareth Thomas has announced his retirement from the game at the age of 37.
He enjoyed a distinguished career, becoming the first Welshman to win 100 caps for his country and is currently 11th in the list of all-time rugby union test try scorers.
Thomas will also be remembered as the first-ever openly gay rugby player, and the star’s courage was recognised when he topped a 2010 list of 101 most influential gay people in the UK.
Speaking following the announcement, Emanuele Palladino, a spokesperson from Thomas’ management company, said:
“This marks the end of what has been a remarkable career for a remarkable person. Gareth hopes that through his achievements both on and off the field he has left a lasting legacy within the game.”
Thomas spoke of the reason behind the decision, indicating that he could no longer give the sport 100%:
“I have listened to and discussed this decision with many of my family and close friends. My mind has told me that the time to retire is now.
“If you can’t give 100% to rugby then you can’t do it justice. This is a sad day but I know that my time has come to an end as a player. My passion for the amazing game will never end or leave me, however.”
Thomas retires as Wales’ second highest try scorer ever and is one of the few players to have become a dual-code international.
His life story is set to be adapted for film, with Mickey Rourke starring as Thomas.