Blackpool Player, Jake Daniels, Becomes First Openly Gay Professional UK Footballer Since 1990

Blackpool forward, Jake Daniels, has ended decades of silence and became the first openly gay active football player in the UK since Justin Fashanu in 1990.

Daniels, who is just 17 years old made his debut with Blackpool FC just last month.

In his statement, Daniels explained that  “now is the time to do it” 

“I feel like I am ready to tell people my story. I want people to know the real me.” 

"I want to be a role model myself by doing this. There are people out there in the same space as me that may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality.

"I just want to tell them that you don't have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in. You being you, and being happy, is what matters most."

He explained that he did not feel comfortable “lying” about who he was.

Daniels said his teammates at Blackpool had embraced his sexuality after he confided in them several months ago. 

England's Football Association and Blackpool FC have thrown their support behind Daniels.

Blackpool FC club spokespeople said they were "incredibly proud that he has reached a stage where he is empowered to express himself both on and off the pitch".

Daniels also stated that he drew strength and inspiration from Adelaide United's Josh Cavallo who up until now was the first openly gay footballer when he broke his silence last year.

READ: Adelaide United's Josh Cavallo Comes Out As Gay