ZANDER Murray described Gala Fairydean Rovers football club as “magnificent from toe to toe” for the support he’s had since his decision to come out as gay.

The striker was a guest on ITV’s popular daytime talk show Lorraine show last month.

Television presenter and journalist Lorraine Kelly regularly provided a platform for LGBT people to share their stories.

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And Zander described his journey since becoming the first openly gay professional footballer in Scotland since Justin Fashanu almost 30-years ago.

He is now preparing to share his message in the education sector at grassroots levels and said that if this helps support and empower one person then it will all have been worthwhile.

Zander told Lorraine: “I’m just riding the wave. It’s been absolutely incredible. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

“I came out to my family and close friends last April but slowly and surely it got to a point that it was only the football community that didn’t know.

“And I felt that within myself, I’d fully accepted myself for the first time in my life.

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"And do you know what, I thought that I could be another power of this community and follow in the footsteps of Jake Daniels and Robbie Rogers as well. I took great inspiration from them and they really helped me.

“I’m new to social media and honestly it’s been incredible, the direct messages I’ve got. Hearing stories of fans and current players and younger players messaging me saying ‘thank you so much’ and asking for advice and guidance.

“It just melts my heart. Of course football has always been a passion and drive but as I’m getting on now I thought what’s going to give me that fire. I definitely think I’ve found it with regards to inspiring younger generations and supporting current gay footballers.

“Tom Daley is an absolute icon. He messaged me when I was coming back from football training in a car with four boys and I had tears in my eyes seeing his direct message. And I messaged him back telling him that I was in a car with four boys and I had tears in my eyes and I didn’t care.

“Top to toe that football club (Gala Fairydean Rovers) is magnificent. My big worry was, and this is a message I want to convey, if I come out, these strong connections that I have in the football team, will I lose them? Absolutely not. They have been incredible. And if anything, it has strengthened my connections.

“There is a lot in the pipeline. I’m tying in with a lot of campaigns and charities. But I have to keep the main thing the main thing. I still need to keep playing football and scoring goals but 100% there are goals outwith football and I’m going to focus on that.

“And yes schools, education sector, I want to get in at the grassroots level and as long as I can share that message with many people.

“But if it supports and empowers one person it’s done its job.”