Skip to content

LGBT fans in EFL share their stories for Rainbow Laces

Supporters from West Brom's Proud Baggies, Norwich's Proud Canaries, Charlton's Proud Valiants and Tranmere's Rover and Out groups talk about their love of the game and the challenges they have faced

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The EFL's new short film in support of the Rainbow Laces campaign features fans from Norwich, West Brom, Charlton and Tranmere

Many EFL clubs now have supporters groups for fans who are LGBT. In a new short film, five of them discuss their football journeys.

All 72 EFL clubs across England and Wales are currently being invited to back Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign in the week leading up to December 1.

Last weekend, many clubs used their home fixtures to highlight their continued support for LGBT fans, players and staff, with rainbow captains' armbands, laces, and programme adverts also being used.

The EFL is using using bespoke sub boards and corner flags to support Rainbow Laces
Image: The EFL is using using bespoke sub boards and corner flags to support Rainbow Laces

The EFL has changed its logo to a bespoke rainbow version for the activation period and has now also released a short film to help share the stories of LGBT fans.

Featured in the film are:

* Neil Basterfield, a West Brom fan and a member of Proud Baggies

Neil Basterfield is a member of Proud Baggies, the LGBT supporters group at West Bromwich Albion
Image: West Brom's strong commitment to diversity and inclusion encouraged Neil Basterfield and the Proud Baggies group

* Adam Siddorn, a Tranmere Rovers supporter and the founder of Rover and Out

Also See:

* Gary Ginnaw, a Charlton Athletic fan, a member of Proud Valiants and also the player-manager of Charlton Invicta FC, the Addicks' LGBT-inclusive football team

Gary Ginnaw, Charlton Athletic, Proud Valiants, Charlton Invicta
Image: Gary Ginnaw has gone from attending games at The Valley with his dad as a young boy, to now playing and managing Charlton's LGBT-inclusive team, Invicta FC

* Christine Coveney, a Norwich City supporter and member of Proud Canaries

* Di Cunningham, a Norwich fan and the founder of the Proud Canaries group

Di Cunningham, Proud Canaries
Image: Di Cunningham founded the Proud Canaries group five years ago

Also voicing their support for inclusion in football are Dr Michael Seeraj, the head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Charlton, and Nicola Palios, Tranmere's vice chair.

The Rainbow Laces campaign is in support of LGBT equality, with a key theme for this year focused on creating more allies for LGBT people in sport.

The EFL's support for Rainbow Laces forms part of its wider LGBT work delivered in conjunction with clubs through the Equality Code of Practice. This includes delivering activities, setting policies, and advising on recruitment and education at clubs.

Rainbow laces are seen prior to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Worcester Warriors and Harlequins at Sixways Stadium on November 23, 2018 in Worcester, United Kingdom
Image: Wednesday November 28 is 'Wear Your Rainbow Laces Day', with all people encouraged to lace up in support of the campaign

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: "The EFL is once again fully supporting Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign, with all 72 clubs coming together to raise awareness and visibility of an important issue.

"The EFL continues to be committed to providing a match day experience that is safe and welcoming to all supporters across all of our competitions."

Live EFL

Sky Sports is a member of TeamPride and supports Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign, which is currently receiving its annual activation across British sport until December 7.

Contact us at Sky Sports if you'd like to share a story to help raise awareness around LGBT inclusion.

Rainbow Laces, Stonewall poster, campaign activation 2018
Play Super 6
Play Super 6

Predict 6 correct scores for your chance to win £250K.

Around Sky