In a groundbreaking move for British men’s football, Jake Daniels, an openly gay footballer for Blackpool FC, made headlines last year when he courageously came out publicly, following in the footsteps of Justin Fashanu. Now, at 18 years old, Daniels has opened up about his heartwarming relationship with Mark, a 46-year-old who messaged him to offer congratulations after his public coming out.
Reflecting on the overwhelming response he received after coming out, Daniels revealed in a recent interview on Rylan Clarke’s BBC Radio 4 podcast, “How to Be a Man,” that his partner Mark’s congratulatory message stood out among the thousands he received. Curiosity piqued, Daniels checked Mark’s Instagram profile and reached out to express his gratitude. Little did he know that this interaction would pave the way for a deep connection between the two.
Describing Mark as his “soulmate,” Daniels shared how their initial conversation led to a FaceTime call and a subsequent meeting in Blackpool. Since then, their bond has only grown stronger, and Daniels couldn’t be happier.
While some may raise eyebrows at the nearly 30-year age gap between Daniels and Mark, the young footballer defended their relationship, emphasizing that age is not the sole determining factor for genuine connection and stability. Daniels had previously revealed his attraction to older individuals and expressed his desire for a committed and stable partnership.
Despite the occasional online debate surrounding their relationship, Daniels has remained steadfast in his advocacy for LGBTQ+ equality in football. Notably, he publicly supported calls for boycotting the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar due to the country’s discriminatory stance towards the LGBTQ+ community.
Daniels’ journey as an out gay athlete continues to inspire and challenge norms within the world of football. As one of the few openly gay footballers in the UK’s top-tier men’s game, he faces both admiration and scrutiny. Nevertheless, Daniels remains committed to being true to himself and promoting inclusivity in the sport he loves.
As he strives to create change and fight for acceptance, Jake Daniels serves as a beacon of hope for the LGBTQ+ community, reminding us all that love knows no boundaries.