Blackpool striker Jake Daniels, 17, has publicly come out as gay, the first British male player to do so since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
Daniels told Sky Sports that he hoped his decision to go public about his sexuality will encourage others.
“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,” Daniels said.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
The announcement on Tuesday sparked an overwhelmingly positive response on social media.