Liz Ward, Director of Programmes at Stonewall (she/her) said: ‘We are proud that Jake has felt able to share his truth with the world. To come out publicly as the UK’s first openly gay professional footballer in nearly 30 years takes incredible courage, and we’re heartened by the solidarity and support he has received from Blackpool FC and his teammates.
‘Football is ready for this moment, and we believe it has been for some time. Our Rainbow Laces campaign has taught us that, while there is still a way to go, attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people in sport are changing. We are moving towards a world where players can live openly as their true selves, both on and off pitch - and that is something we can all take pride in.
‘Stonewall is proud to provide ongoing support to Jake, his close network and Blackpool FC to navigate the challenges of coming out in the public eye. This is an opportunity for everyone involved in football – from the players to the fans in the stands – to support Jake and show that football is everybody’s game.'