"The popular sportsman, who is a close friend of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and attended their wedding, will appear on the Channel 5 reality show which starts tonight. He will join such luminaries as Natasha Giggs, whose only claim to fame is having an affair with her footballer star brother-in-law Ryan Giggs. Ironically, Mr Thomas is friends with Manchester United winger Giggs."
Gareth Thomas Hub
Said Emanuele Palladino a spokesman for Thomas’ management company Distinct:
“We can confirm that Gareth Thomas is officially retiring from both international and club rugby with immediate effect. 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 released a statement as well, saying he wasn't sure of his next step, and thanking those around him:
“I have listened 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 percent 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.”
He added: “I do not know what lies ahead, but I feel the challenge of something different excites me more than another year of rugby...I would like to thank everyone I have been involved with in the sport. I could not have achieved it without any of them. I have great memories and great friends that I will keep for the rest of my life. I leave knowing I have done everything in my power to be the best person and player I could have ever been. And finally, I thank my parents for all their support and help throughout my career.”
(top photo andy paradise via gareth thomas facebook)
Gay Welsh rugby icon Gareth Thomas tweeted "Boom boom boom.I'm back in the room.been a busy bee.check out this photo I did for American magazine;)"
Ed Kennedy at AfterElton writes: "He almost instantly got some ribbing from his former teammate and occasional model Nick Youngquest, who told him he just wasn't ripped enough to model."
(image evening standard)
Shoe designer Christian Louboutin and gay rugby legend Gareth Thomas talk to the London Evening Standard about the shoes Louboutin designed in honor of Thomas, and how they became "sole mates":
After exchanging emails, the pair met in Wales and spent the day walking around Cardiff city centre and along the coastline.
Thomas said: "I come down on the train to London, and I'm looking forward to seeing him, thinking of all the things I can say."
Louboutin said: "We chat about sport. Though I am completely, shamelessly an individualist, and he is a great team player in every way."
Thomas added: "And shoes. These days I own more of Louby's shoes than I do rugby boots."
The shoes Louboutin designed are embroidered with replicas of Thomas' tattoos.
They make a hot couple, don't they?
The Simpsons beat Qatar University to the punch in its plans for the 2022 World Cup.
Puerto Rican pastor condemns Ricky Martin's homosexuality: “I want to say to Ricky Martin that there is no need to go to the extreme by making our children and youths confused."
Rumors float around the Internet about a Britney Spears/Enrique Iglesias tour.
Elton John has inspired gay Westlife singer Mark Feehily to become a father.
The Presbytery of Coastal Carolina votes for no gay clergy: "The Presbyterian Church (USA) Book of Order requires clergy candidates to 'live either in fidelity with the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.' The proposed changes would have removed all reference to sexual orientation or behavior, in effect leaving the decision of fitness to serve to the local presbyteries."
Reese Witherspoon got hitched in Ojai, California yesterday.
Mariah Carey could give birth any day now.
The employees that Madonna recently fired from her Raising Malawi charity are suing her for wrongful dismissal.
Take a look at the houses that Jeremy Renner has successfully flipped over the years.
If you come across a deadly cobra in the Bronx it's probably the same one that went missing from the Bronx Zoo yesterday.
Controversy surrounds "Social Transformation By the Power of God," to be held at Harvard next month: "More than 1,400 people have already signed a petition here on Change.org, calling on Harvard to address this conference and not give a pedestal to people who believe gays should be executed and that Muslims and women are bringing down the reputation of the United States."
Gareth Thomas has an invite to the nuptials of the year - Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding: "I'm a friend of William through rugby. I'm just going to the service. I'm not nervous about it. It will be really good."
UK Rugby player Ben Cohen has been a very vocal straight ally to the gay community for years. In 2009, he openly stated that Rugby was ready for an openly gay player just months before Gareth Thomas' momentous coming out and earlier this year shot an anti-bullying video alongside Bravo's Andy Cohen. I spoke to him as he prepares to visit the United States in May for his Ben Cohen Acceptance Tour.
SP: You've recorded a couple of anti-bullying videos with words of support toward suicidal or bullied young people. What would you say to those who are doing the bullying?
BC: I say simply stop and think. What is that person were to finish their life because of you. How would that feel? Also, bullies often have issues of their own – why else would they do it. Maybe they need to face their issues.
SP: Have you yourself ever been the victim of a bully?
BC: Not in the true sense of the word but I have been the victim of the media at times – goes with the territory, but it is still not nice. You have to say to yourself "Don’t take it personally" but thats not easy –especially when the claims made about you are unjust. It’s frustrating.
SP: You're touring the USA this summer with your "Acceptance Tour 2011" to combat homophobia. What sparked the idea for the tour?
BC: For some years now we have been receiving messages and emails from people all over the world with some heart wrenching stories. I really felt that I wanted to do something about it and I felt that I could. The video I made sparked off all sorts of things really, as well as emotions in me as a sports figure and as a Dad, so we started thinking about what we could do. Then we received an invitation to go to a sports bar in New York. And then a proposal from a Gay/Gay Friendly rugby club in Atlanta at the same time. We work with Geoff in Florida who just came on the team to help Jill with the Calendar, but then became involved representing my work in the USA and he has been linking up ever since pulling everything together. Exciting times!
Read the rest of the interview, AFTER THE JUMP.