Zander Murray, Scottland’s first openly gay footballer, has announced his retirement from professional football.

In an interview with the BBC, the 32-year-old expressed that this season would mark the end of his football career, stating, “I think you just know when your time is up, and that’s where I’m at. You just know when the right time is.”

Reflecting on his accomplishments, Murray shared, “I have achieved what I wanted to. I wanted to play in the league, and I have done that. And I feel with what is happening off the pitch for me, I don’t really want to go on any further.”


Beyond his role as a footballer, Murray has been a vocal advocate for equality, inclusivity, and acceptance in sports. His efforts include working with charities like Stonewall, participating in a documentary, and engaging in corporate speaking engagements to address homophobia in football.

Murray plans to conclude his football journey with Gala Fairydean Rovers FC, a club he holds dear. “It is nice to stay and finish my career there,” he remarked, acknowledging the immense support he has received from the club.

Looking forward, Murray says he is considering coaching roles, particularly in women’s football, praising its welcoming and inclusive environment. Despite the support from his teammates, Murray feels women’s football offers a more comfortable space for him to be his authentic self. “Maybe it’s my own internal issue, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable as a coach in the men’s game. I feel that’s all on me,” he explained.

Murray’s decision to retire is filled with optimism and purpose. “Fifteen months ago, I was scared,” he admitted, “Now I am excited. I can see a path. There’s a space for me in this area.”

He finds motivation in his activism, discovering a new sense of fulfilment. Murray concluded, “When I get thanked by someone for doing this, I realise I see myself keeping on. And as long as I can help even one person, I’ll never give up.”