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About Us


Sheffield United's award winning, official & affiliated LGBTQ+ & Allies supporters' group.




Welcome to Rainbow Blades, an award winning inclusive supporters group for an inclusive football club.

So why do supporter groups exist and what is their purpose? Historically they are there to act as a voice from the stands to the board room and to a certain extent this hasn’t changed. But over recent years supporter groups have evolved. They are now over 50 LGBTQ+ and Allies supporter groups across the UK, up and down the football pyramid. They all serve similar purposes.

  • Building and promoting a club commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

  • Bringing LGBTQ+ fans & Allies together on match days, creating a safe environment and attracting new fans.

  • Being a voice and establishing dialogue with the club to focus on match day experience, stewarding, incident reporting, to name a few.

  • Promoting visibility of the club’s LGBTQ+ fan base and commitment to LGBTQ+ equality

  • This is not an exhaustive list but ultimately the core purpose is the same. An equal, diverse and inclusive football club.

Rainbow Blades aims to be a friendly, welcoming and inclusive Sheffield United Fan Group for all LGBTQ+ communities and Allies. We want to help make Bramall Lane and Football in general inclusive spaces where everyone feels safe to be themselves.

To bring the LGBTQ+ communities and Allies of Sheffield United together to celebrate the diversity of the club, highlight inclusivity and increase LGBTQ+ visibility. Sheffield United is a progressive football club so let’s be a beacon for that.

Rainbow Blades Charity Partner is SAYiT.


Rainbow Blades are an affiliated member of the Football Supporters' Association. 



Rainbow Blades wins national award

Rainbow Blades won the Football Supporters Association Fans for Diversity award. This national win is huge achievement for Rainbow Blades and a testament to all the hard work.

Rainbow Blades Founder, James Laley says “To be shortlisted and invited down to London was a win but to go on and win the award is truly a remarkable moment for our group & the club. Over the past 2.5 years we have grown this supporters’ group to be one of the largest, now standing at over 550 members. More and more LGBTQ+ Blades are now empowered to be their authentic selves, Allies continue to be visible & the club have been a shining example of how to support & work with a football supporters’ group. The support from the boardroom, through the club staff & coaching team and players has only strengthened over time. It’s a relationship built on respect & trust. I am so proud to be a Blade, so proud of Rainbow Blades, so proud of our inclusive club. This win is for everyone associated with Rainbow Blades, everyone who has supported us. We are making a difference. United for All.”  

Amy Hood, United's EDI manager, added: "It was a pleasure to have been able to attend the FSA Awards with James on behalf of the football club, further amplifying the hugely positive relationship Rainbow Blades has with Sheffield United. Having worked closely with James for the past two years, it's been incredibly pleasing to see Rainbow Blades go from strength to strength, as well as all of James' and his committee's hard work being recognised. We are extremely proud of Rainbow Blades and will continue working hard to make Sheffield United accessible, inclusive, and safe for everyone. The Fans for Diversity Award is more than well-earned and I'm so happy to see Rainbow Blades receiving the wider recognition that they deserve. A very proud moment for all involved."

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