Sport

I hid the real me

JAKE DANIELS has come out as the first openly gay British footballer in 32 years.

The only prominent male English footballer to have done so before was Justin Fashanu, who revealed he was gay in 1990 – he took his own life eight years later.

Jake Daniels is the first openly gay British footballer to come out in 32 years

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Jake Daniels is the first openly gay British footballer to come out in 32 yearsPhoto credit: @BlackpoolFC

Blackpool striker Daniels, 17, said he no longer wanted to live a lie – having known his sexuality from a young age.

The teenager has already garnered widespread support from his family, teammates and charity Stonewall following his bold move.

Alongside Australian Josh Cavallo, he is currently the only male gay professional player in world football.

Here’s Daniels’ full statement on Blackpool’s website…

Blackpool's Jake Daniels becomes the first openly gay footballer since Fashanu
Who is Jake Daniels? Blackpool footballer comes out as gay

This season has been fantastic for me on the pitch.

I made my first-team debut, scored 30 goals for the youth side, signed my first professional contract and shared the success with my teammates by having a great run in the FA Youth Cup and winning the Lancashire FA Pro-Youth Cup.

But off the field I hide the real me and who I really am.

I’ve known I’m gay my whole life and now I feel like I’m ready to come out and be myself.

It’s a step into the unknown to be one of the first footballers in this country to reveal their sexuality, but I was inspired by Josh Cavallo, Matt Morton and athletes from other sports like Tom Daley to have the courage and determination to car to drive change.

When I got to this point I had some of the best support and advice from my family, my club, my agent and Stonewall, all of whom were incredibly proactive in putting my interests and wellbeing first.

I have also confided in my youth teammates here in Blackpool and they too have welcomed the news and supported my decision to open up and tell people.

I’ve hated lying my whole life and feeling like I have to change to fit in.

I want to be a role model myself.

There are people out there in the same room as me who may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality.

I just want to tell you that you don’t have to change who you are or how you should be just to fit in.

Being yourself and being happy is the most important thing.

jake

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5352115/real-me-step-unknown-sexuality-jake-daniels/ I hid the real me

Aila Slisco

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