Stonewall FC, the UK's oldest openly gay football club, now 'more respected'
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 24/11/17 2:33pm
Founded more than 26 years ago, Stonewall FC are the UK's oldest openly gay football team.
Sky Sports News' Mark McAdam went to meet Stonewall FC ahead of the start of Friday's activation of Rainbow Laces week, which runs from November 24 to December 3.
The team has won numerous titles across the globe since their inception. Stonewall FC treasurer Jamie Feldman says although their success is a matter of pride, it is far from the team's greatest achievement.
"We've been around since 1991 and started off to provide a safe environment for gay people to come and play football," he said.
"We now pride ourselves on having that ability to offer football for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation but also regardless of ability."
People are more accepting now, and they know who we are from our reputation.
Jamie Feldman, Stonewall FC Treasurer
Such has been Stonewall FC's success as a team, they are now 11 divisions below the Football League after earning promotion to the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Football League last season.
Stonewall FC manager, Eric Najib, said: "Playing in the County Premier Division with predominantly a gay football team is a huge achievement."
Stonewall player, Justin Morley, added: "People are far more respectful of our status and being as a club, people are far more aware of who we are.
"Given that we have been in the leagues we are in for so long, we are well established [and] people actually respect us a football team first and foremost."
Keep up to date with our digital coverage of the Rainbow Laces campaign throughout the week at skysports.com/rainbowlaces - and remember to grab a pair of laces for you and your friends and team-mates!