Rugby star Keegan Hirst has announced that he's gay, making him Britain's first rugby league star to publicly come out of the closet.

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Hirst, the captain of the Batley Bulldogs, said that he considered suicide: “On the worst days I'd think, 'I can't do this. I'd rather be dead than for it all to come out.' … Thankfully, I have friends and family I love and was able to talk myself out of it.”

Hirst, 27, told his wife that he's gay a few weeks ago after realizing that she blamed herself for their recent breakup. The couple has two children.

“People keep saying I'm brave. I don't feel brave. I'm just talking about me. There might be other players in the same position I was. If there are, I'd tell them to just be honest with themselves,” he told the Mirror.

He said that he was surprised by the support he's received: “The support from my teammates and other rugby league players has really surprised me. It's all been positive.”

“I'm comfortable in my own skin, probably for the first time ever,” Hirst said. “I'm not withholding anything and there's not that sense of dread.”