TRUK United FC set to push trans-inclusive football forwards in charity cup match

A National Affinity Cup game at Leatherhead FC on Sunday afternoon will mark the debut outing for TRUK United FC, whose squad has a strong representation of players who are trans and non-binary. Club founder and player-boss Lucy Clark explains why the game will be “pretty historic”…

By Jon Holmes

The TRUK United FC flag will be proudly on display during Sunday’s National Affinity Cup tie

TRUK United FC – the LGBT+-friendly football team created by Trans Radio UK – will play its first-ever fixture on Sunday.

TRUK are taking on Friends Fighting Cancer in the National Affinity Cup first round at Leatherhead FC (kick-off 2pm BST).

All proceeds raised from the match will be split between community interest company TRUK Listens and the Friends Fighting Cancer charity.

The National Affinity Cup is an FA Cup-style competition for UK-based charity football clubs. The aim is to help teams from across the country enjoy playing football in a friendly yet competitive environment, with one main objective – to raise as much money as possible whilst promoting togetherness, unity, and equality.

A special matchball in trans flag colours will be used for the game on Sunday, and a Pride Progress flag sporting the club crest has also been created.

TRUK United FC home, away and goalkeeper kits are all available to buy from the club website’s shop, along with mugs featuring the badge.

TRUK United FC was created at the start of 2021 by player-boss Lucy Clark, who is best known as British football’s first out trans referee – she made national news headlines in August 2018 when she shared her story publicly.

Lucy also co-founded Trans Radio UK with her wife Avril, while TRUK Listens was launched last year as a volunteer-led counselling service for the community and for all those seeking support and advice on matters related to gender identity and related themes.

They will be promoting the TRUK United FC match during Saturday’s Pride in Surrey event in Godalming before the game itself in Leatherhead the next day.

Lucy Clark

“It’s going to be an amazing weekend,” Lucy told Sports Media LGBT+. “And it’ll also be pretty historic because we’re sure it’s going to feature the most amount of trans people to ever play in a football match together in the UK.

“Those in our squad who aren’t LGBT+ themselves are strong allies so it’s going to be a day full of pride.”

Lucy previously played and managed in county FA football before concentrating on officiating, and she knows how much it means to her fellow trans players to be pulling on their boots.

“Some trans people I know have told me they stopped playing completely which is so sad,” she explains.

“I wanted to create a team that everyone could play for, regardless of gender or sexuality. For anyone who’s previously thought or said ‘there’s no team for me’ – now there is.”

She says the National Affinity Cup is a great opportunity to play a match that has more meaning than just a straightforward friendly, with both teams eager to progress in the competition.

“For those coming down to watch, they can expect some decent football as we have several talented players,” she adds.

“Sammy Walker is one to look out for in particular – she has great ability, a proper footballer, and I’m excited to play alongside her. It helps when you can pass the ball to someone who can do something with it!

“The bar is going to be open too, there’ll be food and a great inclusive atmosphere.”

Another TRUK United charity fixture is already planned for November during which Lucy hopes to field, at one point in proceedings, an XI entirely of trans women.

Thanks to Lucy and good luck to TRUK United FC! If you can, do get down to Leatherhead FC’s Fetcham Grove ground for a 2pm BST kick-off on Sunday.

For more info, visit the TRUK United FC website and follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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