It’s a classic modern love story that started in the DMs.
Jake Daniels came out last year and became the first active soccer player to be openly gay in the UK since 1990.
“I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself,” the Blackpool FC player said in a statement.
“It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality, but I’ve been inspired by Josh Cavallo, Matt Morton, and athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, to have the courage and determination to drive change.”
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In March, Daniels confirmed to The Times that he is happily in a relationship with a mystery man. At the time, the soccer player only revealed that his partner was older, but now we know a bit more.
Jake Daniels Calls His New Partner His Soulmate
In a new interview with the BBC Radio 4 podcast How to Be a Man, Daniels explained how he met his now partner, Mark.
“I came out and had my Instagram, my Twitter taken off me, so I didn’t see anything,” he said. “I think when I got my Instagram back I had 20,000 message requests or something ridiculous like that. I’d never seen that in my life.”
One of those messages was from Mark and for some reason, it stood out from the other thousands of messages.
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“There was just one day, I was about to get on a train and I went on my message requests just to have a gander and the top message was from my partner, just congratulating me,” he continued. “Obviously, I had a sneaky look on his Instagram and I was like, ‘Alright!’ Dropped a message back and said ‘Thank you so much’ – and at the end asked something like ‘Is there anything else I can do for you?’ Just to try and … I knew what my motive was.”
The two began flirting online and eventually called each other on FaceTime. “Then [we] met up a few days later in Blackpool and then, you know, we’ve been together ever since,” Daniels added.
The 18-year-old went on to call Mark his soulmate and said he’s “never been happier.” Daniels also told The Times his preference towards dating older men.
“For me, 30 is too young,” he said. “Over 40 is better. I wanted a relationship and stability – and I’ve got that now.”
Jake Daniels Comes Out
Daniels said coming out felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
“I’ve hated lying my whole life and feeling the need to change to fit in. I want to be a role model myself by doing this.
“There are people out there in the same space as me that 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.
“You being you, and being happy, is what matters most.”
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