He’s cocky, he’s arrogant, he’s entitled to his big ego. He an International footballer and a multimillionaire. Carlos Garcia’s a huge success on and off the pitch, and he’s got it all. Joining a new football club, he wants his teammates to like him, especially the one man who sets his pulse racing.
As the quietest guy on the football team, Harry Carter avoids attention. He’s so scared of people finding out he’s gay that he’s made sure there are just clothes in his closet. He has nothing to hide, there’s no history, no past, no secret boyfriend, not even a one-night stand. Ever.
Things are changing. Outside of work, Harry’s best friends are a discreet gay couple, but how is Harry going to keep all the secrets when the new guy on the football team keeps hanging around?
Why exactly does Carlos sit next to Harry at every opportunity?
A standalone story with a happy ever after ending and no cliffhanger.
*** This book is also in print ***
What the author has to say:
You want them to come out. I do too. I love reading stories like that.
I wanted them to discover the supportive reaction of the teammates and fans and wider public support.
I'm sure if any footballer came out in Britain today, they would have terrific support from the public, football fans and other players and professionals working within football.
But My Goal is set the story in the very real context of European football in recent years. So for my characters to come out would have been such a huge departure from reality.
I've written an epilogue for us all to enjoy. It's set far in the future, but I'm not going to give any spoilers here.
In real life, the negative impact of the homophobic minority is still too great. And homophobia and ignorance are enough to deter many people from coming out.
In Europe, there is one gay professional football player, in Sweden. He does not play in the top league. Robbie Rogers played football in the UK in 2012. He came out after retiring from the sport in 2013. He resumed his soccer career a few months later in the USA. He remains one of only two out gay footballers in the world. That is out of half a million professional players.
England is one of the best places in the world to be LGBT for legal rights and general acceptance. Not for sportsmen though, it seems. There has been a huge question about homophobia hanging over football in the UK, Europe, and the world. Among other things, earlier this year questions were asked in the UK Parliament about why gay men playing professional football are unable to come out. There is no doubt that they exist. It is being raised as a problem at high levels across Europe.
You may be interested in knowing more about the real context of the story. In December 2010 it was announced that the 2022 World Cup would take place in Qatar. A controversial announcement for so many reasons, not least of all is that the country has the death penalty for homosexuality.
Let's say that again: in 2022 the World Cup will be in a country where it is a criminal offense to be gay and if you are gay and Muslim you face the death penalty.
I can't find the words to express my contempt for this decision adequately. Let's imagine the message that decision sent to young football fans and players around the time that it was made.
Over recent years we have seen football clubs and bodies taking effective action to combat homophobia in the UK. This is excellent. It is about two decades behind other organizations, but better late than never.
I'm not surprised gay players in the top tiers of the sport haven't publically come out. Even today. It could threaten their careers. In the UK, we are moving toward an environment that is supportive of gay players, but it is an international sport.
At the top level, players travel around the world so an openly gay player would have to consider not just how he is accepted at home in the UK but when he travels abroad.
In Spain, a gay referee has been subjected to extreme homophobic abuse through 2016. Twenty-four-hour security currently protects him because of numerous threats. Death threats because he's gay. In Spain. Spain! One of the very first countries to legislate for equal marriage.
If you haven't already read Scott and Jason's story in Home Goal, I will tell you that as characters, they are very different from Harry and Carlos. Their story and issues are quite different; again it is set against the backdrop of events in the real world.
Feel free to contact me directly about the issues in this book or anything to do with LGBT fiction by email or via facebook.