Elton John praises Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels after coming out: “A courageous and game-changing statement”

Daniels has become the first active men's professional in the UK to come out as gay since 1990

Elton John has praised Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels after he became the first active player in UK men’s football to come out as gay since 1990.

17-year-old Daniels made the announcement yesterday (May 16), telling Sky Sports News that he felt ready to “be myself” after “a long time of lying” about who he is.

The Blackpool forward, who said that his “team-mates have all been so supportive about it and everyone has had my back” since he made his decision to publicly come out, is the only openly gay active men’s footballer in the UK. Justin Fashanu was the last professional player to do so back in 1990.

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Daniels has received support from around the world since he made his announcement, with John praising the footballer’s “courageous and game-changing statement”.

“At 17, he has hopefully changed the face of football forever,” John, who is the former chairman of Watford FC, tweeted this morning (May 17). “Bravo.”

Daniels was also praised by actor Ian McKellen, who tweeted today: “At 17, Jake Daniels represents a generation that rejects old-fashioned homophobia in football and elsewhere: those who haven’t yet grown up as he has. He sets an example.

“No wonder so many of us, gay and everyone else, admire & treasure him as a hero. What a goal he’s scored!”

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Last month, Elton John announced a special 50th anniversary reissue of his 1971 album ‘Madman Across The Water’.

He also recently announced a number of new dates for his farewell North American tour. You can find tickets for his North American dates here, and UK tickets here.

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