Exeter City Football Club has shown outstanding support and been taking a stand against homophobia every year since the FvH campaign began, and will do so again at Tuesday's night's Sky Bet League One home fixture with Derby County.
With the support of Proud Grecians, its LGBTQI+ Allies and Supporters Group, its One Game One Community Group, and at all levels in the club, it has held dedicated FvH games every year.
Players and match officials wear FvH shirts to warm up, volunteers give out leaflets, players record messages of support for social media, there are articles in the press and in the programme and match announcements made.
In recent years, Isca Apollo FC, the Exeter-based LGBTQI+ inclusive team, was officially adopted as an Exeter City FC affiliated team and during half-time at FvH dedicated matches, the team and volunteers tour the pitch with banners and flags. There is always applause from the crowd which is heartwarming. Rainbow corner flags are used, captain's wear FvH armbands and a large rainbow flag flies from the flagpole. Inclusion is a priority at all levels in the club, from the chairman and directors to the staff, players and supporters and throughout the club's other teams as well as the community teams.
LGBTQI+ members were involved in club policy changes to make them more inclusive and stewards training has been fully inclusive for many years. Exeter City FC LGBTQ+ merchandise such as shirts and mugs etc has been produced and is for sale in the club shop. Incident reporting signs can be seen around the ground and adverts are placed in match programmes.
Exeter City has welcomed volunteers from Exeter Pride, Exeter University LGBTQI+ groups and the wider community to help with the FvH campaign and Stonewall Rainbow Laces dedicated game. One year Exeter Pride march started at Exeter City FC and the club usually has a stand at Exeter Pride.
The Rainbow Laces campaign is also always well-supported at all levels with similar enthusiasm by the club, players, staff and involvement by Proud Grecians and Isca Apollo FC. Volunteers give out hundreds of laces and there is the on-pitch appearances as with FvH. Many of the first team players wear the laces during the game and for the second year in a row, the whole U18s team has worn laces for their fixtures during the dedicated period.
The club has a proud record of making sure football is welcoming for all. The club's LGBTQI+ staff report being well-supported by the club. The club recognises that homophobia, prejudice and discrimination against LGBTQI+ people in football is unacceptable and Exeter City is committed to creating safe and inclusive football environments for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.