Scotland's first openly gay football player to retire

Zander Murray made history in 2022 by becoming the first senior Scottish football player to come out as gay.

Zander Murray to retire as Scotland’s first openly-gay footballer to hang up boots SNS Group

Zander Murray, Scotland’s first openly gay football player, is set to retire from the game.

The 32-year-old from Glasgow made history in 2022 as he came out as gay, the first senior Scottish football player to do so.

Murray, who most recently played for Gala Fairydean Rovers in the Scottish Lowland League, made the statement on social media after speaking with his family in 2021 about his sexuality.

In January, the 100-plus goals striker fulfilled one of his dreams to play for a club in the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) by signing for Bonnyrigg Rose in League Two.

Murray has discussed homophobia and football in workshops with football clubs and academies. Photo by SNS Group.

He then returned to the Galashiels side and has taken the decision to hang up his boots at the end of the season, as he thanked Rovers for the support he received from the club when he came out.

The forward, as part of the wider LGBTQ community, has spoken to fellow players about his journey, homophobia and inclusivity during talks at football clubs and academies.

Murray has been working with the charity Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) to visit youth teams across the country with his Challenging Homophobia Workshop.

The footballer led Edinburgh’s Pride 2023 march in June, and was an ambassador at the 11th Gay Games in Hong Kong in November, the first event of its kind in Asia.

He was also the subject of a BBC Scotland Disclosure documentary titled Out on the Pitch in March this year in which Murray tackled the issue of homophobia in football.

He revealed on social media some of his highlights from 2023 included his representation at the Gay Games, leading the Pride March and “finally overcoming” his “internalised homophobia” to play in the SPFL.

Confirming his retirement on X, the 32-year-old posted a short message saying: “A year I’ll never forget. Looking forward to next chapter. Happy new year when it comes.”

On Instagram, he added: “What a ride this year. Looking forward to next chapter now. Thanks for all the love and support.”

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