Openly gay rugby referee Nigel Owens has said that bullying drove him to consider taking his own life.

The 47-year-old Owens, one of three professional referees at the Welsh Rugby Union, came out gay in 2007, telling Wales on Sunday that it was hard to come out because he didn't want to jeopardize his career.

Owens, also a television personality, is among the celebrities participating in the #Back2School anti-bullying campaign.

In a video for the campaign, Owens said that he attempted to take his own life when he was 26.

“There is no doubt that experiencing that difficult time at school, being bullied, and then experiencing that difficult time in dealing with my sexuality and dealing with mental health issues and the depression and stuff that came with that time when I did something that I will regret for the rest of my life,” Owens said.

“I was 26 years of age where I left a note for my mum and dad and said I couldn’t carry on living anymore and I attempted to take my own life.”

“And If I hadn’t been found by people looking for me then, 20 minutes and it would have been too late, and I wouldn’t be here speaking today.”

“It’s something I will regret for the rest of my life and looking back now with life experiences I should have learned from that first experience of bullying that you have to accept that there are issues and to seek help to deal with them,” he added.

The campaign hopes to train anti-bullying ambassadors for schools across the UK.