Matt Jarvis for Attitude

West Ham and England winger Matt Jarvis is the February cover star for Attitude, the UK’s bestselling gay magazine.

The 26-year-old has become the third footballer to appear on the front of Attitude magazine and the former Wolverhampton Wanderers player has claimed that homosexuality in sport shouldn't be a "shock" in today's society.

Jarvis said: “It’s everyday life. It’s not something that’s going to be a shock.

“I’m sure there are many footballers who are gay, but when they decide to actually come out and say it, it is a different story. It’s one that I’m sure they’ve thought about many times. But it’s a hard thing for them to do.”

Jarvis is only the third professional footballer to have been featured on the cover of Attitude magazine, after David Beckham in 2002, followed by Freddie Ljungberg in 2006.

Attitude Editor, Matthew Todd, said: ”It’s ridiculous that there are no openly gay players in professional football. There’s rightly been a focus on ridding the beautiful game of racism but there doesn’t seem to be much effort to tackle homophobia.

“We know there are gay players – and fans who support the game religiously – so I hope this starts a discussion and is a small step in the right direction towards attitude’s changing.”