Norfolk

Norwich Pride: Former boxer Ogogo pledges support to sister

Anthony Ogogo at Norwich Pride
Image caption Retired boxer Anthony Ogogo helped to launch the Norwich Pride march at the weekend

Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo has helped to launch a Pride march in a pledge of support to his sister after officiating at her wedding last month.

Ogogo, who retired from the ring earlier this year, said he wanted to show people that "love is love".

About 10,000 people were thought to have marched in Norwich on Saturday.

"It breaks my heart that you can't just be who you are because horrible, bigoted people take offence," Ogogo said.

London Olympics bronze medallist Ogogo, who is originally from Lowestoft in Suffolk, conducted his sister Joanne's wedding ceremony to her partner Helen.

Image copyright Toni Ogogo
Image caption The Olympian conducted his sister Joanne's wedding to her wife Helen (right) in June

"I was very honoured to be the person that married my sister to the love of her life," he said. "I've always been proud of my sister… and the fact she has come out and she's living her life.

"I'm sure there are people who are living a life because they feel that they've got to or they're not courageous enough to come out - that's why I wanted to be involved."

Earlier this month, Ogogo appeared on TV to speak out over social media trolls after tweeting he had lost about 100 followers when he posted about his sister's wedding.

Image caption Ogogo welcomed people to Norwich Pride from the City Hall balcony

But the former middleweight, who now lives in London, said he had been heartened by the turnout at Norwich Pride.

"People are out in force, cheering and smiling and that's why I love my city," he said.

"My sister has always said 'love is love' and there's nothing scary about it - it's a beautiful thing and I want to help."

Ogogo said he hoped fellow sports figures could help to banish prejudice.

"There will be footballers who are gay, but the more they hide... and don't come out - it's hurting the LGBT community," he said.

"People need to see you can be gay and one of the best footballers in England. It's not a problem."

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