Blackpool forward Jake Daniels becomes first openly gay English footballer since 1990

Blackpool forward Jake Daniels has come out to the public, making him the only openly gay English footballer currently playing.

For the first time in more than 30 years, an English football player has come out as gay, after 17-year-old Blackpool forward Jake Daniels made the announcement through his club’s website earlier this morning.

Daniels wrote that Australian footballer Joshua Cavallo was an inspiration for his decision to come out, after the Adelaide United defender became the first openly gay Australian footballer last October.

Jake Daniels footballer
Credit: Mark Cosgrove/News Images / Sipa USA via AP file

“This season has been a fantastic one for me on the pitch,” Daniels wrote in the statement on Blackpool’s website.

“But off the pitch I’ve been hiding the real me and who I really am. I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself.”

The announcement makes Daniels the first openly gay English footballer since Justin Fashanu came out in 1990, a British forward who played for a bunch of clubs including West Ham, Manchester City, and Nottingham Forrest, but saw the most success during his three-year stint at Norwich.

Daniels took the opportunity to recognise those in a similar boat who might be struggling with their own identity, urging them to also be themselves because looking after number one is the most important thing in life.

“There are people out there in the same space as me that may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality,” the statement continued.

“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.”

Looks like we have a new favourite male footballer (equal favourite with Josh Cavallo of course).