Exeter City Football Club is saying 'No to Homophobia' at Saturday's home match against Bury.
The match has been designated as the club’s annual Football v Homophobia fixture and a number of initiatives to mark the day have been organised by the Exeter City Supporters’ Trust, its One Game One Community (OGOC) Group and CITY Community Trust.
It is 10 years ago that the international initiative was founded and the 10th time that a
designated Football vs Homophobia match has been held by Exeter City.
Two years ago, Lou Englefield, director of the national Football vs Homophobia campaign,
presented the Exeter OGOC Group with a commemorative pennant, acknowledging the club’s annual support and for its year-round work to make sure football is welcoming for all.
On Saturday, Exeter and Bury players and match officials will warm up in Football vs Homophobia t-shirts.These will be thrown to the crowd before the start of the game.
The players will then walk out for the pre-match line-up behind an Football vs Homophobia banner.
First team player and OGOC Ambassador Troy Brown has backed the initiative and said:
“Homophobia like all discrimination, has no place in football. It's time to call full-time on hate.
The OGOC Group is delighted to be welcoming guests from Exeter Pride, Vaults bar and club, X-Plore LGBT youth groups, Westcountry Wasps, the Devon LGBT rugby team,
Devon FA Inclusion Advisory Group, individuals and other supporters of Football vs Homophobia to the game, as well as members of Proud Grecians, Exeter City’s LGBT+ fans group.
The lord mayor of Exeter, councillor Rob Hannaford, will also be attending the game to show his support for Exeter City and the Football vs Homophobia campaign.
Members of Isca Apollo, the new Exeter LGBT football team, will take to the pitch at half-time to be officially inducted under the Exeter City umbrella of community teams.
Football vs Homophobia leaflets will be distributed to the crowd.
Also supporting the campaign over the weekend will be some of the Exeter City community teams.
Proud Grecian founder Alan Quick, a member of the Supporters Trust, its OGOC Group, co-founder of Exeter Pride and local co-ordinator for Football vs Homophobia, said:
“Exeter City has a great record on opposing homophobia and all types of discrimination and it is a credit to the club.
“It was on December 8 in 1992 that my late friend Justin Fashanu, the only ever professional footballer to ‘come out’ as gay played in a game at St James Park.
“Justin, the country’s first millionpound black player, was playing for Torquay United against Exeter City in an Autoglass Trophy match when he made his appearance at the Exeter ground.
“Sadly he suffered from both racism and homophobia and Football v Homophobia and its predecessor, The Justin Campaign, were formed to address some of these issues.”
The Football vs Homophobia activities have been supported by the Postcode Community Trust, Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police and form part of Exeter City’s support for Kick it Out’s call full-time on hate campaign.
Exeter City’s One Game One Community Group works with the national Kick it Out campaign to address all types of discrimination in football including race,disability, gender, age and sexual orientation.
It’s activities today have been made possible thanks to a grant from Postcode Community Trust, a grant giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Up next at St James Park:
City take on Tranmere Rovers on Saturday, March 2 in a 3pm kick-off. Ticket prices are cheaper in advance. Click here to buy online.