UnNews:British Lions rugby legend Gareth Thomas: 'It's ended my marriage and nearly driven me to suicide. Now it's time to tell the world the truth - I'm ginger'

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British Lions rugby legend Gareth Thomas: 'It's ended my marriage and nearly driven me to suicide. Now it's time to tell the world the truth - I'm ginger'

Straight talk, from straight faces

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23 December 2009


"Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you"

RUGBY PLAYER EXTRAORDINAIRE Gareth Thomas is a sporting legend. If anyone dared to suggest he was anything other than 100 per cent blond, Gareth 'Alfie' Thomas was prepared to make them see the error of their ways. Through the medium of contemporary dance, if necessary. But, as he admits, it was all a pretence, a fragile artifice - and one which came crashing down around his ears on November 4, 2006, following a Wales game in Cardiff. Breaking down in tears in the changing rooms of the Millennium Stadium, Gareth finally realised he could not go on living a lie. Keeping his true hair colour a secret was destroying him.

He says: "I was like a ticking bomb. I thought I could hide my ginger hair, keep it bleached blond without any orange roots, wear a hat or even pretend to be bald, but I couldn't."

"I just couldn't ignore it any more."

That summer, he had confessed the truth of his ginger hair to his devastated wife Jemma, unable to cope with the guilt of deceiving her. But even as their marriage crumbled, he'd somehow hoped to maintain his charade for the rest of the world.

"My life seemed to be falling apart. Jemma and I were splitting up, and I was scared of the future and being single again as a ginger,' says Gareth, 35.

Since that confession that he was a ginger-nut to his closest circle of friends three years ago, Gareth says his team-mates at his club, the Cardiff Blues, now know - and apparently don't care. "I'm not going on a crusade, but I'm proud of who I am. I feel I have achieved everything I could ever possibly have hoped to achieve out of rugby, and I did it being a fucking ginger."

"I mean, at least I'm not a horrible tight curly haired bright orange ginger with freckles and a short temper. That really would be intolerable."

"But I want to send a positive message to other secret gingers that they can do it, too."

Also, a big supporter of the NSPCC, he doesn't want desperate young people confused over their hair colour, to suffer in silence, as he did for almost 20 years, too terrified to tell anyone. The number of boys calling ChildLine about their secret orange haired affliction has increased to 3,500 a year.

Are you a secret carrot top? Are you ashamed of your fiery hair? Then send in your secret ginger photos to Unnews.co.yk for us to laugh at.

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