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Nigel Owens: I Asked Doctor If I Could Be Chemically Castrated

  • Leading rugby referee Nigel Owens has revealed that he went to a doctor and asked if he could be chemically castrated after realising that he was gay.

The 45-year-old is widely considered as one of the best officials in the game, currently working at the Six Nations, and was picked to referee the World Cup final in 2015.

Owens, the first openly gay man to officiate at the highest level of the sport, told presenter Kirsty Young on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs that he went to a doctor and said: "I do not want to be gay. Can I get chemically castrated?"

He added: "Refereeing that World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand in front of 85,000 people and the millions of people watching at home, scrutinising every single decision you make under a huge amount of pressure, was nothing compared to the challenge of accepting who I was."

Owens admitted that he received huge support from the Welsh Rugby Union and confessed to feeling he had been handed a "second chance".

He said: "Unless you are happy with who you are, you cannot excel and be the best you can be at whatever you are doing. You cannot enjoy life if you are not happy within yourself."

In 2015, Owens was named 'Gay Sports Personality of the Decade' by Stonewall and was appointed an MBE in 2016 in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

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