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Football Pride 2023

Rainbow Blades Founder, James Laley, attended Football Pride in Manchester last month.

With spirit-lifting panel chats, special guest speakers & celebratory socials, Football Pride achieved its ambitions and more.

James represented Rainbow Blades on a panel discussing 10 years of LGBTQ+ Supporters’ groups and what’s next, along with Lindsey Parr from Rainbow Devils and Chantal Van Der Putten from Roze Kameraden. The panel was hosted by James Swanson, Fan Experience Manager at Arsenal.

Making the trip down from Scotland to take part were Bonnyrigg Rose’s Zander Murray and referee Lloyd Wilson, both of whom came out publicly last year. Murray said it had been a “whirlwind” 12 months but underlined his gratitude for the opportunities that had come his way.

“I was in the closet, and struggling,” said the striker, reflecting on how his mental health used to be. I thought there was no one out there like me. I didn’t have any role models. So it’s incredible to be in a room with people like myself, and to be part of a community like we have at Football Pride.”

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