A week after his professional championship debut, 17-year-old Blackpool forward Jake Daniels became the first active footballer to come out, revealing his homosexuality in a TV interview.
A decision, he explained, to combat the scourge of homophobia in sport, overcoming prejudices.
"I have thought about it for a long time and I think this is the right time, I feel ready to tell my story - Daniels' words -. I want people to know who I really am, having been lying all this time is not something I would have. wanted to do. It was difficult but now I have faith in myself ".
Daniels, who thanked his teammates for the support he received, thus becomes the first professional footballer to declare himself gay since Justin Fashanu came out in the 1990s.
"It's been a crazy year. I'm 17, I signed my first contract as a professor: I scored 30 goals with the Under 18 and just made my Championship debut, entering in the final minutes against Peterborough," said Daniels. - And now I've decided to come out. It all happened together but I think that's right. When the season started I wanted to show who I was as a footballer, and I succeeded. There was one last thing to do, now the people know, and I can live my life, however I like. And you know what? It was amazing. "
A joy mixed with relief, for having freed himself from a hitherto unacknowledged burden.
"I even had a girlfriend for a while to make my friends think I was straight, but it was a fatiguing lie. At school everyone asked me if I was gay but I denied it because I didn't feel ready."
Daniels' choice was much appreciated, also by the Premier League ("We are alongside Jake and we believe that football is for everyone") and by the English Football Association, which defined the young player as "an inspiration for all of us".
Blackpool himself wanted to openly compliment his player, who has followed the whole youth team since he was seven: "We are incredibly proud that he has reached a point where he feels strong enough to express himself, on the pitch. is out".
Until now, no one had dared to follow the example of Josh Cavallo, 22, of Adelaide United, the only openly gay footballer in business.
Others, like Thomas Hitzlsperger and Thomas Beattie, had come out but only after they stopped playing.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand in a tweet called Daniels' interview "a courageous decision that deserves the utmost respect".
Even Gary Neville, today's TV commentator, complimented Daniels for "the incredible courage, unthinkable 15 or 20 years ago. I can't imagine how difficult it was, but it's a great time for football."