ZANDER Murray and Gala Fairydean Rovers featured in the popular BBC Scotland football programme ‘A View from the Terrace’ last Friday (October 7 2022).

The show which is hosted by Craig Telfer claims to take an irreverent look at the world of Scottish football

In a segment entitled Trail Blazer, which was filmed at Netherdale, Zander described his journey while manager Martin Scott and teammate Liam Campbell about the reaction to the striker coming out as gay.

Zander said: “100% I thought about quitting football because I just could not handle if people found out. What if they see you in the street?

“I’ve sabotaged myself for years and just thought enough’s enough. I could die tomorrow and I’ve virtually lived a lie my whole life.

“In September 2022 I became the only openly gay player in Scottish Men’s football.

“When I was growing up I wanted to be a football player. I knew I was good enough to be a football player.

“But you hit your early teens and the changing room chat is a bit different from when you are younger.

Peeblesshire News: Zander Murray in action for Gala Fairydean Rovers Zander Murray in action for Gala Fairydean Rovers (Image: Thomas Brown)

“The later teens you start to understand, OK I’m very different from everyone and that had an affect on my football, my confidence.

“I’ll be brutally honest, during my career I’d go onto the pitch and mentally I’m not there. At times when I was at my lowest point.

“You just think so negatively about the world. The world’s out to get you. I literally got to a point where I accepted myself and the only people that never knew were the football community. Everyone else knew.

“I thought if I come out as gay they are not going to treat me with as much respect. Were they going to treat me as inferior? And that killed me for years.

“It’s a pressurised environment. Your best memories are in a dressing room. When you are running together, you do create strong bonds. If you are going through something you can open up to the boys in that dressing room. And they can help you.

“I feel like a new man. I’m Zander Murray Two point Zero.  I’m just being myself for the first time in my life.

“And now I’m going onto the pitch and it’s like aaahhhh. The support that I have received has been incredible. I want people to feel more confident in their skins in the dressing room, to talk to their team mates about who they are if they feel like it.

“The advice I would give to my younger self would be ‘you are different and that’s absolutely fine.

“I would never have imagined that I would get to where I am today. It’s amazing. The boys in there, literally everyone of them has messaged me privately with messages of support. That was really powerful.

Gala boss Martin Scott said: “A dressing room can be a lively pace at times when it’s at its worst. It probably comes down to its competitive nature, wanting to play on a Saturday.

“To be able to come out and accept who he is, is a credit to the club, I think credit to his team mates. He feels comfortable in that environment.

“There’s a bigger picture here, standing for what counts.”

Teammate Liam ‘Jinky’ Campbell said: “I think it’s difficult at times. There are always going to be players that struggle. Players are competing for positions.

“To me going into the dressing room I didn’t think anything had changed. Nothing needed to be put in a group chat. Nothing changed.

“I think it’s massive what he has done. It just kind of shows that in a dressing room there must be other people in other clubs and other teams that shouldn’t feel that they can’t talk about it, so yes, it’s massive.”