UK rugby star Gareth Thomas has said his dad toasted to his coming out.

Thomas, who retired from rugby late last year following an injury, publicly announced he is gay in 2009. The 38-year-old Welshman's coming out inspired other professional athletes to come out, including English cricketer Steven Michael Davies and Swedish footballer (European soccer) Anton Hysen.

In a interview, Thomas said his family has been amazing.

“My family were amazing,” Thomas said. “Once it was taken in, my dad, who is a very tough man, sat me down at home with the family; he opened a bottle of champagne and said 'This is a toast to the rest of your life son.' It was overwhelming, and my family as a whole have been superb.”

Thomas added that coming out felt like “an enormous weight had been lifted from my shoulders.”

Thomas' fitness DVD, titled The 7 Day Fitness Plan, arrives on UK shelves December 31.

“We had a whale of a time,” Thomas said of filming the DVD. “We filmed below the Hollywood sign and even did a scene in Mickey [Rourke's] mansion in Beverly Hills 90210! We also filmed at the sugar hut and various places in Wales. We wanted to give the DVD a bit of variety, and filming in all the different locations certainly did that.”