Blackpool’s Jake Daniels comes out as gay

Blackpool’s Jake Daniels has become the UK’s first active male professional footballer to come out as gay.

The 17-year-old forward is the first Briton in the men’s professional game to come out publicly as gay since Justin Fashanu in 1990.

He told Sky Sports: “It’s been quite a crazy year. I’m 17. I’ve signed a professional contract. I’ve scored 30 goals this season and I’ve just made my first-team debut in the Championship, coming off the bench against Peterborough.

“And now I have decided to come out. Everything has happened at once but it feels right.

“When this season started, I just wanted to prove myself as a player. I think I have. So this was the one last thing in my head that I knew I needed to do.

“Now it’s out, and people know. Now I can just live my life how I want to and you know what? It’s been incredible.”

Before Daniels, the UK’s only male professional footballer to have come out as gay while still playing was former Norwich and Nottingham Forest forward Fashanu, in 1990.

Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo became the first current openly gay player after coming out last year.

Former Aston Villa and Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger came out after his career ended, while ex-Leeds defender Robbie Rogers revealed he was gay in 2013 after leaving Elland Road and before joining LA Galaxy.

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