Jake, who signed his first professional deal with Blackpool in February, said in his statement that he had been “hiding the real me”, but has “known my whole life that I’m gay”.
“I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself,” he revealed.
While admitting that this was “a step into the unknown”, Jake said that he been inspired by fellow footballers Josh Cavallo, and Matt Morton, as well as athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, to “have the courage and determination to drive change”.
He said that he hopes to be a “role model” for others in the future.
Since the news broke and Jake shared his message with fans on Blackpool FC’s website yesterday evening, the footballing world and countless members of the public have been reacting with love and expressing their messages of support on social media – calling it a “significant” moment in sporting history.
The statement read: “Jake, you are an inspiration to us all and we fully support your decision to be open about this part of yourself. Football is a game for all, with diversity at its heart, and this is a hugely positive step as we strive to build an inclusive game that we can all be proud of.
Former players and current pundits and presenters Gary Lineker and Rio Ferdinand were among the many famous names to share messages.
Lineker also said in a follow-up tweet: “I honestly think that, aside from a few homophobic morons, football will be incredibly welcoming and enormously supportive towards a gay footballer.
“It’s long overdue for a player to ‘come out’ even though it’s ridiculous that it’s even necessary. A footballer is a footballer.”
England captain Harry Kane also said “football should be welcoming for everyone”.
Jake’s message was also discussed on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football yesterday, where pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher praised the young player for his actions and talked about the culture of football leading up to this point.
“It’s a day of great importance for English football,” Neville said.
“I want to stop and take a moment to acknowledge Jake’s announcement and say how very proud I am for his bravery,” Josh Cavallo also said in a touching statement.
“It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that my story has helped guide Jake to be his true self.
“It’s touching to see the millions of people that my story has impacted and inspired around the world, and to see it help evolve the world game at all levels, is fantastic. This world and the game of football has a place for everyone. Love will always win.”
Prime Minster Boris Johnson even took to Twitter to share support for Jake, adding: “Thank you for your bravery Jake, it would have taken huge courage to come out and you will be an inspiration to many both on and off the pitch.”
Leader of Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, added on Twitter: “This shows real courage and bravery and will serve as an inspiration to many young people across the country.
“Thank you Jake. We are all with you.”
Members of the public also shared messages of support in their thousands.
Jake Daniels became the first professional male player in English football to come out as gay since Justin Fashanu 32 years ago, and he said in his message to fans: “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 – Blackpool FC
Manchester Airport announces direct flights to Las Vegas from 2024
Manchester Airport has announced that passengers will once again be able to catch a direct flight to Las Vegas from next year.
The bright lights of the fabulous Las Vegas are calling.
When it comes to non-stop flights, those jetting off on holiday from Manchester Airport currently have over 169 exciting destinations in 50 countries to choose from – but now, you can add the party capital of the US to that list, as Virgin Atlantic has confirmed that its latest direct route from the Northern hub is Las Vegas.
The Nevada hotspot has always been a popular travel destination, not only because of its legendary nightlife scene, but also thanks to the fact it provides a gateway to the wide range of attractions in America’s West.
The stunning scenery of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park, the Pacific Highway, and the major cities of San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles, are all within reaching distance from the desert city – which is presumably why Virgin Atlantic has chosen it as its next direct route from Manchester.
Starting from 2 June 2024, three flights a week will depart from Manchester Airport Las Vegas.
Flights to Las Vegas will operate on Virgin Atlantic’s newest Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, and will be added to the US routes already available through the airline from Manchester Airport to Orlando, New York, and Atlanta
The new Las Vegas route makes Manchester the only airport in the UK outside London to fly directly to America’s West Coast.
“It’s hugely exciting to see the return of Virgin Atlantic’s direct service to Las Vegas, which has always been one of our most popular long-haul routes,” Manchester Airport’s Managing Director, Chris Woodroofe, said of the new flight destination.
“As the UK’s global gateway in the North, it’s great to work with airline partners like Virgin Atlantic to connect the region directly to as many destinations around the globe as possible.
“I am sure this service will be really popular with passengers and we look forward to continuing our work with Virgin Atlantic to further grow its route network from its Northern home in Manchester in the years to come.”
Manchester City named the most valuable football club brand in the world
Manchester City have been named the most valuable football club brand in the world, topping the Brand Finance Football 50 Report for the first time in their history.
Following yet another successful season punctuated with a fifth Premier League title in six years, another FA Cup following their historic Manchester derby victory and potentially a first-ever Champions League trophy in just a few days’ time, the club has arguably never been in a stronger position.
In monetary terms, it is a simple fact: according to this year’s Brand Finance Football 50 report, Man City’s brand value has grown 34% since the COVID-19 pandemic, rising to more than £1.3 billion and overtaking European giants Real Madrid to become the most valuable club in world football.
Despite Man United being named the most valuable club in the Premier League according to Forbes’ latest rankings at the start of this month, this report suggests that Man City took in the most revenue on a global scale, reaching their all-time high notwithstanding the pandemic recovery period.
Further backing up the numbers, City also topped Deloitte’s Money League for the second year running after announcing a record revenue of £613 million and profits of £41.7 million, the latter being more than double the previous Club record — and that was before the two most recent major honours. Crikey.
Elsewhere in the report, United did jump back above Liverpool into fourth overall, with Arsenal seeing the most growth over the last year following an impressive runner-up season. As for around Europe, PSG leapfrogged German giants Bayern Munich, and AC Milan are said to be the fastest-growing Italian club.
The City Football Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Roel de Vries, said the following after the announcement: “Being recognised as the world’s most valuable football club brand reflects the phenomenal growth story that Manchester City has had in recent years.
“This achievement recognises the evolution of not just the brand, but the Club as a whole. The Club has been performing consistently and has broken records on and off the pitch this season…
“As we look to the future, we want to keep investing in the right things – our football talent, the city of Manchester and our local community, infrastructure and fan experience. We have a proven track record of innovation and are excited for the next chapter in this Club’s great history.”
Pep Guardiola and his squad are now just one game away from winning the treble, an achievement which would not only see them join an exclusive club of just seven teams to do so, such as United’s famous 1999 team, but would no doubt see their value skyrocket even further. Can they do it?