The Duke of Cambridge has sent a personal message of support to rugby star, Gareth Thomas, after the player revealed he was HIV positive. William’s words were shared on the official Kensington Royal social media accounts.
The message read ”Courageous as ever – legend on the pitch and legend off it. You have our support Gareth. W.”
William has known Gareth Thomas for several years and the star was among the guests at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in April 2011. They have worked together on several rugby projects. Gareth Thomas was captain of the British and Irish Lions as well as the Welsh national side. The Duke of Cambridge is the patron of Welsh Rugby Union. He has
The 45 year old former player announced he had HIV on Saturday. He is the first major UK sports star to talk openly abut having the condition.
Gareth Thomas said he wanted to break the stigma around the condition and that he had at times felt anxious and afraid about sharing his diagnosis. He said he worried about ”not knowing how people are going to react”, adding that he had developed similar concerns when he announced he was gay in 2009.
William’s words are part of a wave of support given to Thomas in the hours since he first spoke about living with HIV. The star, who won 100 caps for Wales and led them to their first Grand Slam in almost thirty years, said he wanted to ”empower so many other people who are in exactly the same position as me….to be able to feel free as well.”
He will discuss his diagnosis further in a documentary that will be broadcast on BBC One Wales on Wednesday 18th September. .