Blackpool forward Jake Daniels has come out as gay – the first professional male footballer to do so since 1992.
The 17-year-old said that he is happy to finally ‘be myself’ in a heartfelt open letter to fans.
He is the first professional player in English football to come out since Justin Fashanu 32 years ago.
Jake, who signed his first professional deal with Blackpool in February, said that he has been ‘hiding the real me’ and hopes to be a role model for others.
He also said he has been inspired by the courage and determination of openly gay athletes in other fields, like Olympic diver Tom Daley and Australian footballer Josh Cavallo.
Jake revealed in an interview with Sky Sports: “For a long time I’ve thought I would have to hide my truth because I wanted to be, and now I am, a professional footballer. I asked myself if I should wait until I’ve retired to come out. No other player in the professional game here is out.
“However, I knew that would lead to a long time of lying and not being able to be myself or lead the life that I want to.
“Since I’ve come out to my family, my club and my teammates, that period of overthinking everything and the stress it created has gone. It was impacting my mental health.
“Now I am just confident and happy to be myself finally.”
Jake Daniels’ open letter to Blackpool fans in full
This season has been a fantastic one for me on the pitch. I’ve made my first-team debut, scored 30 goals for the youth team, signed my first professional contract and shared success with my team-mates, going on a great run in the FA Youth Cup and lifting the Lancashire FA Pro-Youth Cup.
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.
It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality, but I’ve been inspired by Josh Cavallo, Matt Morton and athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, to have the courage and determination to drive change.
In reaching this point, I’ve had some of the best support and advice from my family, my Club, my agent and Stonewall, who have all been incredibly pro-active in putting my interests and welfare first. I have also confided in my team-mates in the youth team here at Blackpool, and they too have embraced the news and supported my decision to open up and tell people.
I’ve hated lying my whole life and feeling the need to change to fit in. 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.
Featured image: Facebook, Official Blackpool FC / The Seasiders
Fresh warning issued about swimming in Salford Quays amid bank holiday heatwave
A new warning has been issued reminding people of the dangers of swimming in Salford Quays – even with such warm weather.
Salford City Council issued a warning over the late May bank holiday weekend urging people to stay out of the water.
It comes just two weeks after two people were rescued from the water and rushed to hospital with hypothermia.
And last summer, tragedy struck in Salford Quays when 16-year-old Kalen Waugh – who was last seen struggling in the water while swimming with friends – was found dead in the water.
People are now being reminded that the warm weather doesn’t mean that bodies of water like rivers, lakes and reservoirs are warm enough to swim in.
Salford City Council said: “Even in a heatwave open water in Salford Quays, rivers, lakes and reservoirs is always cold.
“The risk of drowning through cold water shock is real. Please stay out of the water unless taking part in an organised activity and stay safe.”
The first is a gasp for breath followed by rapid breathing (hyperventilation).
They then say: “At the same time as your breathing goes out of control, your blood pressure shoots up as your body tries to keep your blood warm by moving it towards the middle of your body (this is why you go pale when you’re cold).
“Once your breathing is back under control, this is your window to get out of the water before the further effects of cold water shock kick in.
“As your muscles cool, your strength, endurance and muscle control reduces to the point when you can’t swim any longer so can’t rescue yourself. The point at which you can’t swim any more is called ‘swim failure’, and if you haven’t got out of the water or managed to get hold of a buoyancy aid (like a lifejacket) by this time, you will drown.”
The RLSS issues the following advice if you do fall into cold water.
First, keep your mouth away from the water until you have your breathing back under control, you can do this by rolling onto your back and floating or paddling to stay at the surface.
Then, don’t waste any time and swim towards an exit before your muscles start to cool, or swim towards something that will help you to stay afloat whilst you are calling for help.
Finally, once you are out of the water re-warm yourself as soon as you can to avoid hypothermia.
Temperatures across Greater Manchester are set to hit highs of 22 degrees this week as we head into yet more days of sunshine and warm weather.
Featured image: Unsplash
Manchester house goes on sale with life-sized ‘sex doll’ in pictures
A two bedroom house has gone up for sale in Manchester, and the appearance of a surprise guest in its listing pictures has got the city talking.
The mid-terrace family home in Blackley looks completely normal at first, priced at a modest £160,000.
Completely normal, that is, until you spot the stiletto-wearing life-sized doll reclining in front of a bed underneath the stairs.
Wearing a fitted red dress with her legs akimbo, the lifelike doll has been spotted by eagle-eyed property hunters on the lookout for a bargain.
Reclining on what appears to be either a chaise lounge or a put-up bed in a ‘rest area’ under the stairs, the lifelike mannequin appears to be wearing fishnet stockings underneath her bodycon dress.
Accessorised with a wide-brimmed hat and teeteringly-high stilettos, the appearance of the doll in the listing photos has caught attention online and led some online to wonder whether she comes with the house.