Local support has been given for Blackpool United's Jake Daniels.

Blackpool’s Jake Daniels has become the UK’s first currently 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.

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“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.”

Daniels said on the Blackpool club website he had been inspired by other sportsmen to reveal his sexuality.

“It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality,” he said.

“But I’ve been inspired by Josh Cavallo (Adelaide defender), Matt Morton (Thetford manager) and athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, to have the courage and determination to drive change.”

Nigel Davidson, equality, diversion and inclusion officer for the Carlisle United Supporters’ Group, offered support for the young player.

He said: “It is ground-breaking and very brave.

“Jake’s only 17 years old, so it’s a very brave move for him.

“It’s long overdue, and we support what he’s done.

“We hope Blackpool supports him and supporters support him as well.

“I am also in the Fans for Diversity group.”

Nigel explained that this group is not associated directly with Carlisle United but is a group campaigning across all of English football.

He continued: “We have been campaigning for this to be a more accepted thing to do if people decide to do it.”

“Those people should have the support of everyone around them.”

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