A former rugby player claims he woke up homosexual after suffering a stroke.

Chris Birch attempted a back flip during a rugby training session, broke his neck and suffered a stroke.

When Mr Birch woke up, he endured a radical personality change and discovered he was attracted to men.

Following his recovery, the 26-year-old quit his bank job to retrain as a hairdresser, called off his engagement with his fiancé and started dating a man.

"I was gay when I woke up and I still am. It sounds strange but when I came round I immediately felt different," he said.

Prior to the freak accident, Mr Birch was planning on settling down with his girlfriend and spent weekends playing sport.

Mr Birch notes how he started to take more pride in his appearance. He bleached his hair and started working out. "I went from a 19st (120kg) skinhead, to a 11st (93kg) preened man," he said.

"Suddenly I hated every­ thing about my old life. I didn't get on with my friends, I hated sport and found my job boring," he told the Telegraph.

Mr Birch, from South Wales, now lives with his partner Jack Powell, 19, above the salon where he works and does not regret what has happened.

"I think I'm happier than ever. I'm even more confident. I'm nothing like the old Chris now but I wouldn't change a thing," he said.

Mr Birch's personality change could have been caused by the stroke opening up a different part of his brain.

Stroke Association spokesman Joe Korner said: "During recovery the brain makes new neural connections which can trigger things people weren't aware of, such as accent, language or perhaps a different sexuality."