Photo: Instagram [@joshua.cavallo]

After recently coming out as gay, footballer Josh Cavallo has opened up about how a friendship with another athlete helped him do so.

In an open letter and video posted on 27 October, the Adelaide United player shared that he is gay.

The midfielder said he has been “hiding who I truly am” but is “finally comfortable” to speak out about his sexuality.

“There’s something personal that I need to share with everyone. I am a footballer and I am gay,” he explained in the clip shared to the team’s social media.

The 21-year-old added that he has been trying to live a “double life” but that enough is enough.

In a letter to fans, Cavallo shared that he “couldn’t be happier” to come out.

“It’s been a journey to get to this point in my life, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision to come out,” he wrote.

“I have been fighting my sexuality for six years now and I’m glad I can put that to rest.

“Growing up I always felt the need to hide myself because I was ashamed – ashamed I would never be able to do what I loved and be gay.”

In an interview with the Herald Sun on 5 November, the star shared that Thomas Beattie, an English footballer who came out after retiring, helped him when he was deciding whether or not to come out.

Cavallo said: “He has worked closely with me, and he said to me: ‘Josh, you can have both, you can change the world, you can do this’ and he opened my eyes to doing this.”

The idea that there could be “someone on the opposite side of the world dealing with the exact same pain as what me and Tommy went through” was motivation to share his story.

“It could lead to suicide or take them to dark places,” the footballer explained. “But I want to share the positive side of that and look at the reaction I’ve gotten and how happy everyone is from that.”

Cavallo also told the outlet that coming out on 27 October was a deliberate move, given that the number 27 has special meaning to him.

It is the number on his Adelaide United shirt, the date of his parents’ wedding anniversary and the date of his grandfather’s passing.

“I wanted to do it on the 27th because that’s my number,’’ Cavallo shared. “It’s a very special number in the family.’’