CELEBRITY OF THE YEAR AWARD –
Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas is a Welsh former professional rugby footballer, who represented Wales in both rugby union and rugby league. With 100 test match appearances he was the most capped Welsh rugby union player until he was overtaken by Stephen Jones in September 2011. Gareth’s public confirmation of this sexuality made him the world’s first openly gay rugby player, and the following year he was voted the most influential gay person in the UK in the IoS Pink List and received Stonewall’s Hero of the Year award. In 2017, to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, Gareth made a documentary looking at homophobia in football. Now a world-class gay rights campaigner, Gareth has recently spoke about being the victim of hate crime and has raised awareness of this prevalent issue.