Norwich City and Fosters Solicitors are delighted to highlight Nick O'Brien as our Community Hero for the Canaries' fixture against Rotherham United.
During the 2020-21 Sky Bet Championship football season, Fosters is working in partnership with Norwich City to celebrate its Community Hero initiative, which once a month highlights a deserving community-minded individual as the 'Community Hero' for a selected match day.
Norwich City fan, Nick is a member of Proud Canaries, Norwich City's LGBT fan group. This February celebrates LGBT+ History Month and Nick explains how education and the importance of LGBT fan groups can be a powerful force to make the game of football more inclusive.
"LGBT+ history month is really important as it helps to educate and shine a spotlight on the achievements of LGBT people," he said. "It promotes equality, diversity and increases the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people - not only acknowledging them, but celebrating their history, their lives, and their experiences.
"A significant piece of LGBT+ history in Norwich and in football is Justin Fashanu. He is a fantastic example of a trailblazer, becoming the first openly gay professional footballer and Britain's first one million pound black footballer - and there has yet to be another male footballer playing in the elite sport who feels confident to come out."
Proud Canaries was established by Di Cunningham in 2014 to help make Carrow Road a safer and more pleasant place for everyone by promoting inclusion and challenging discrimination. They are proud to be the second officially recognised LGBT football supporters' group in the country and have an overarching vision to 'challenge discrimination for better enjoyment of the beautiful game'.
Di Cunningham explains: "When we first formed, we wanted to change things and make the game and stadiums more welcoming for us and other LGBT people. We worked alongside the club on helping to create awareness and education pieces for the fans and it's great to see a positive impact from it."
Nick added, "Being part of Proud Canaries helps us have a voice and Norwich City makes us feel part of the fabric of the club so it's something really special to be part off.
"There is still work to be done in football, but we are moving in the right direction so it's great for us to continue working closely with Norwich City about how we can improve the fan experience in the stadium and making it feel a safe and welcoming place for everyone."
Do you know a Community Hero? If there is anyone that you think deserves special recognition, whether the individual works in the emergency services, is a carer or charity champion - please nominate someone by visiting the Community Hero page on the Norwich City official website.