Canaries highlight work of football LGBTQ+ support groups

The Canaries' recent match against Wolverhampton Wanderers was dedicated to Stonewall's annual Rainbow Laces campaign, the club in partnership with Fosters, are proud to support and acknowledge the work LGBTQ+ supporter groups within football.

Wolverhampton Wanderers, have had Pride of Molineux as their official LGBT supporters' group since March 2019.

Speaking at the time of the group's formation, Wolves supporter liaison officer Dave Wood, said: "We felt it was the right time to form an official LGBT Supporters Group.

"At Wolves we are committed to equality, diversity, inclusivity and challenging discrimination in all of its forms, and we hope the first official Wolves LGBT supporters group will be able to support us with these commitments."

Meanwhile at Carrow Road, Proud Canaries launched at Norwich City's match with Tottenham Hotspur in February 2014. At the time it was the second officially recognised LGBT supporters' groups in the country, with the first being the Gay Gooners at Arsenal.

Speaking about the importance of Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign, organiser of Proud Canaries LGBT+ fan group Di Cunningham, said: "Research just released by Stonewall shows that one in five sports fans still think anti LGBTQ+ language is harmless if it's just meant as 'banter'.

"In my experience Carrow Road fans are some of the best in the country at owning their matchday experience and challenging any prejudice.

"But we can't be complacent. If we want sports spaces to be welcoming for everyone then we need find some other banter - and between us speak up when we hear discriminatory slurs."

Proud Canaries is a social forum for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans supporters of Norwich City, but is also works with the club to make Carrow Road a safer and more pleasant place for everyone by promoting inclusion and challenging discrimination.

The group has been warmly received by all sections of the club and have linked up with other groups within the club, including the Canaries Supporters Trust, the Barclay End Project and Forces2Canaries, to help create a more inclusive and friendly atmosphere at Carrow Road.

One such example came in February 2020, when Proud Canaries' David Shenton, worked with Along Come Norwich and the Barclay End to produce a 20-metre banner in honour of Justin Fashanu's audacious flick and volley against Liverpool in 1980, which won the Match of the Day Goal of the Season award that year.

Justin was the first, and still, only top-level footballer in England to come out as gay and the banner honouring him, and his goal against Liverpool, was widely featured on social media and Sky Sports.

If you are interested in joining either group, or just learning more about Proud Canaries or Pride of Molineux you can do so by following them on Twitter at @Prideofmolineux and @Proudcanaries.

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