LGBTQ+ football fans get chance to play at Premier League stadium in charity match

Published by Jon Holmes on

Spectators encouraged to attend special game at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane on Saturday 25 May, kick-off 12pm; fixture is in aid of Sheffield United Community Foundation’s Empower LGBT+ project

By Sports Media LGBT+

Sheffield United’s official LGBTQ+ and allies supporters group Rainbow Blades will hold its annual United for All Charity Match on Saturday 25 May.

For the first time, the match will be played at Bramall Lane. The fixture is in aid of Sheffield United Community Foundation’s Empower LGBT+ project.

Rainbow Blades is a friendly, welcoming and inclusive fan group working to make Bramall Lane, and wider football, a safe space for all – a place where everyone can be their authentic self.

The matchday teams on 25 May will be made up of Rainbow Blades members and allies. There will be a mix of genders, sexualities and football abilities, all united by one goal – to stamp out LGBT+ discrimination.

Everyone is invited to be part of this special fixture. Tickets cost just £6 and must be purchased online in advance. All proceeds will go to Sheffield United Community Foundation’s Empower LGBT+ project.

James Laley

James Laley, founder and chair of Rainbow Blades, said: “We’re over the moon to be hosting our Charity Match at Bramall Lane for the first time.

“To have the opportunity to move this event to the next level and hold it at a professional football ground is a huge moment.

“It’s such an important initiative that the community foundation is running, and we wanted to play our part to make sure the programme can continue through next season and beyond.

“I’m proud because we are giving opportunities to LGBTQ+ members to play at Bramall Lane but also our allies, plus spectators who might be stepping foot in a professional stadium for the first time. I look forward to welcoming fans to the Lane!”

On the day, turnstiles will open at 10.30am, and the players’ warm up will begin at 11am. Kick-off is at 12pm, and medal presentations will be made just before 2pm, before the teams and spectators head to Rainbow Blades’ official venue, Lykke.

Rainbow Blades Charity Match at the Olympic Legacy Park in 2022

Sheffield United Community Foundation’s Empower LGBT+ project aims to enable the LGBT+ community to be more active and feel stronger and more confident in their ability to succeed in sport and physical activity, whilst decreasing LGBT+ discrimination and help LGBT+ people feel they belong in the Steel City.

Project lead Ellie Wilson said: “All of us at the Community Foundation are delighted to be partnering with Rainbow Blades for the annual charity match.

“To be holding this game at Bramall Lane is a brilliant marker of how far we have come as a club and as a collective in celebrating diversity across our community.

“In previous years, this event has been a great celebration of our LGBT+ community and has proven to be a really fun day, so we are looking forward to making some more memories, but this time at beautiful downtown Bramall Lane!”

More information and tickets available here.

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Jon Holmes

Digital Sports Editor