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Wales’ most capped rugby player captained his side to Grand Slam victory and led a British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand. He became the ninth highest try scorer in the world, then switched codes. Gareth also hit the headlines as the only openly gay man in the sport; he holds the tag with pride, but still looks towards the day when it’s no longer an issue. In his speech Gareth talks about success on the field and the hurdles he had to overcome.
Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas is one of the biggest and most respected figures in rugby. He became Wales third most-capped player, the twelfth highest try scorer in the world, and one of very few to notch up four tries in a single match.
After captaining both the Grand Slam-winning team and the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand, Gareth made the switch to Rugby League. Proving the doubters wrong, he put in several bravura performances before a serious arm injury finally ended his career.
Off the field Gareth’s personal life hit the headlines when he revealed his sexuality, making him the only openly gay player in the game. He holds the tag with pride, though he hopes to see the day when it’s no longer a newsworthy issue. Having established himself in retirement as a widely admired campaigner and role-model, Gareth also later revealed he was living with HIV.
Gareth’s autobiography Proud, was the winner of the British Sports Book Awards Sports Book of the Year. Stronger is the broader story of how Gareth has managed to deal with the adversity life has thrown at him across the years, from childhood to his gruelling announcement that he was HIV positive.
Alongside many media and charity commitments he is an ambassador for Stonewall and a passionate supporter of ChildLine.
Gareth is an engaging speaker on his rugby experience, and as a member of the LGBT+ community. He discusses the need to end homophobia and support diversity and inclusion.
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