Phillip Schofield praises Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels for coming out as gay

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Phillip Schofield has praised Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels as ‘amazing’ after he came out earlier this week, 

The This Morning presenter spoke of his ‘hope’ after the 17-year-old became the first male professional footballer in England to come out in 32 years.

The 60-year-old appeared alongside Holly Willoughby on Tuesday’s ITV daytime show as they discussed the top stories of the day. 

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‘Hats off to Jake': This Morning's Phillip Schofield praised Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels as 'amazing' as he comes out as gay

‘Hats off to Jake’: This Morning’s Phillip Schofield praised Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels as ‘amazing’ as he comes out as gay 

The Blackpool forward opened up in an interview with Sky Sports News on Monday after ‘such a long time of lying’.

He said: ‘Now is the right time to do it. I feel like I am ready to tell people my story. I want people to know the real me.’

Phillip, who famously came out on This Morning back in 2020, praised Jake for being ‘incredibly brave’ as the stars gave their thoughts on the story.

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Brave: The Blackpool forward, 17, opened up in an interview with Sky Sports News on Monday after 'such a long time of lying'

Brave: The Blackpool forward, 17, opened up in an interview with Sky Sports News on Monday after ‘such a long time of lying’

Amazing: The 60-year-old spoke of his 'hope' alongside co-host Holly Willoughby after the 17-year-old became the first male professional footballer in England to come out in 32 years

Amazing: The 60-year-old spoke of his ‘hope’ alongside co-host Holly Willoughby after the 17-year-old became the first male professional footballer in England to come out in 32 years

Jake is the first British male footballer to come out publicly since Justin Fashanu who came out in an interview in 1990. 

Phillip said: ‘What’s important now, and this may be very naive, I think he will have an amazing amount of support, help and care within his own football community. That his football mates, his football club, all enormously supportive.

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‘You see the tweets from other football players saying, “what you’ve done is incredible”.

‘What you’ve gotta hope now… football is such a family, it’s tribal, it’s a family. What you want now is for that tribal family now to show an enormous amount of support.

'Hope': Phillip, who famously came out on This Morning back in 2020, praised Jake for being ‘incredibly brave’ as the stars gave their thoughts forwards Sky Sports News interview

‘Hope’: Phillip, who famously came out on This Morning back in 2020, praised Jake for being ‘incredibly brave’ as the stars gave their thoughts forwards Sky Sports News interview

‘Of course there’s always going to be sort of ribbing people and having a go, but this is the time to say, “let’s not go for him on the pitch”.’ 

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Guest Camilla Tominey added: ‘Obviously this story will resonate with you in particular.’

Holly replied: ‘It’s got a long way to catch up, football, it seems out of all sports.’

‘Hats off to Jake, we think you’re amazing,’ Phillip concluded.

Brave: Jake is the first British male footballer to come out publicly since Justin Fashanu in 1990, Holly said: ‘It’s got a long way to catch up, football, it seems out of all sports’

Brave: Jake is the first British male footballer to come out publicly since Justin Fashanu in 1990, Holly said: ‘It’s got a long way to catch up, football, it seems out of all sports’

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Other stars including The Chase’s Paul Sinha, Eddie Izzard and Gary Lineker have all shown their support to the teen. 

Prince William, who is the FA president, also showed his support by taking to Twitter.

 He said: ‘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.’

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In his interview, Jake added: ‘I have been thinking for a long time about how I want to do it, when I want to do it. I know now is the time. I am ready to be myself, be free and be confident with it all.

Royal support: Many stars including The Chase’s Paul Sinha, Eddie Izzard and Gary Lineker have all shown their support to the teen as well as FA president Prince William

Royal support: Many stars including The Chase’s Paul Sinha, Eddie Izzard and Gary Lineker have all shown their support to the teen as well as FA president Prince William

‘I can’t really put a date on it, but I was probably five or six years old when I knew I was gay.

‘So it’s been a long time that I have been living with the lie.

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‘At that age you don’t really think that football and being gay doesn’t mix. You just think, one day, when I’m older I’ll get a girlfriend and I will change and it will be fine.

‘But as you get older you realise you can’t just change. It doesn’t work like that.’

He also spoke about the relief he felt when he told his family and his teammates at Blackpool about his sexuality, who he praised for being ‘absolutely amazing’.

Jake signed his first professional deal with Blackpool in February, and made his senior debut for the Championship club earlier this month.

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Opening up: Jake spoke about the relief he felt when he told his family and his teammates at Blackpool about his sexuality, who he praised for being ‘absolutely amazing’

Opening up: Jake spoke about the relief he felt when he told his family and his teammates at Blackpool about his sexuality, who he praised for being ‘absolutely amazing’

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