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Soccer stud Jake Daniels keeps scoring goals & winning awards

Jake Daniels continues to make a big impact on his new team. The out British soccer star recently scored his third goal for Bradford Park Avenue, continuing to shine for the struggling club.

His on-field triumphs have led to adulation and recognition. Last week, the 19-year-old was presented with the Man of the Match award, thanks to his impressive efforts. Playing in the seventh tier of the English football league system, Bradford Park Avenue is four levels below Daniels’ regular club, Blackpool FC. The teenage sensation is on loan, and making the most of his opportunity.

Last month, Daniels scored his first goal for Bradford Park Avenue, winning the February Goal of the Month.

“What a month with an amazing team, delighted to have won goal of the month! We keeping pushing,” he posted on social media.

Daniels’ most recent goal was just as impressive. Corralling a blocked shot from the opposing goaltender, he kicked the ball straight into the back of the net.

His teammates immediately started celebrating.

A true trailblazer, Daniels was the first active male pro soccer player in England to come out in 32 years. He received over 20,000 messages of support, including lines from British icons such as Elton John, Tom Daley and Prince William.

Only 17 at the time, Daniels became the youngest out pro male soccer player in the world. His announcement inspired young LGBTQ+ soccer fans across the globe.

“I think the best thing for me was seeing people’s parents saying like ‘my son or my daughter has just come out to me’ and it was amazing to see those messages was great,” he told the Daily Star. “Around football, I am seeing a lot more pride flags being flown, I am seeing changes, people will now be banned from grounds for saying anti-LGBTQ stuff onto the pitch. There is definitely change.”

Prior to this season, Daniels won the Gamechanger honor at the Atlantic Attitude Awards. He called the moment “heartwarming.”

“I think the biggest thing is my maturity–I’ve grown as a person,” he told Attitude. “I’m able to handle different situations better than I feel like I would if I hadn’t come out.”

Due to the dearth of out gay male soccer players, there was concern about whether Daniels’ announcement would derail his career before it started. But two years in, that hasn’t been the case.

Most importantly, Daniels says he’s received full support from his teammates, who double as his closest friends.

“My teammates are good and supportive, but there is always jokey stuff in terms of being ‘big time’ and stuff like that, but it’s all good,” he said. “I love my teammates, they are my team but they are also my close friends as well and I have always had support from them.”

Daniels is one of only five out active male pro soccer players in the world, along with Josh Cavallo, Jakub Jankto, Collin Martin, Andy Brennan and Scotland’s Zander Murray. With that in mind, he knows his orientation is always going to be a lead story.

But he doesn’t want it to define him. Daniels is a soccer player first.

“I am a footballer at the end of the day and I didn’t want it to change who I am. Obviously I am a gay footballer and I have got support from so many different people, but at the end of the day, I am just a footballer and I just want to be a professional footballer. That is my main focus,” he said.

Like other out gay athletes, Daniels says being himself is the biggest relief of all.

“I haven’t changed as a person. I am still the Jake that I always have been,” he said. “I am just able to live my life how I want to, and I don’t have to hide anything or be careful with what I say around people to try and not give it away that I was gay, like I did at the time. To be able to me is just amazing.”

We agree! With another match coming up Saturday, Daniels will receive yet another opportunity to shine as his true self.

We expect many more goals and accolades to come!

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