Prince William's heartwarming message for Jake Daniels as Blackpool footballer comes out as gay

The Duke of Cambridge praised Jake Daniels for being the first UK male professional footballer to come out as gay since 1990

Prince William's heartwarming message for Jake Daniels as Blackpool footballer comes out as gay
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince William has hailed Jake Daniels for being the first UK male footballer to publicly come out as gay in over three decades, adding that he hopes it gives others the 'confidence' to follow suit. 

The Duke of Cambridge has spoken out in support of Jake Daniels following the Blackpool FC player's announcement that he is gay. 

The 17-year-old athlete made history on Monday after he shared the personal news on the Blackpool Football Club's website, becoming the first UK professional male football player to openly identify as gay since Justin Fashanu 32 years ago.

His decision to proudly own his sexuality has received huge praise from both the LGBTQ+ and sporting community, as well as multiple journalists and TV personalities. 

Prince William has now added to the positive responses, taking to Twitter and Instagram on Tuesday to share the following statement: 

"Football should be a game for everyone. What Jake has done takes courage and will hopefully help break down barriers that have no place in our society. I hope his decision to speak openly gives others the confidence to do the same. W." 

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The powerful note comes less than a year after Prince William and Prince Charles spoke out against the 'sickening' Euros racism, following a torrent of bigoted abuse against the England team's black players in the wake of their defeat to Italy. 

Jake Daniels

Jake Daniels 

(Image credit: Getty)

In a heartwarming statement posted yesterday, Jake said, "I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself." He went on to admit that he "hated lying my whole life" and "feeling the need to fit in", before adding, "I want to be a role model myself by doing this." The inspiring footie star also shared a message of encouragement for his LGBTQ+ readers who "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," he wrote. "You being you, and being happy, is what matters most." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.