Stonewall FC, the UK’s most successful gay football club, have been praised for their work on promoting LGBT inclusion in the sport following a friendly against a team of MPs and parliamentarians.
The one-off match between Stonewall FC and the UK Parliamentary Football Club (UKPFC) was held on Wednesday afternoon, and was refereed by former Premier League official and Sky Sports pundit Dermot Gallagher.
The Football Association hosted the fixture at St George’s Park, with invited guests from the LGBT rights charity that shares its name with Stonewall FC. The club, whose first team plays at Level 11 of the football pyramid in the Middlesex County Premier League, is sponsored by TeamPride, the coalition of businesses and brands including Sky Sports that support the Rainbow Laces campaign.
UKPFC were beaten 5-3 on the day, with player Stephen Kinnock – the Labour MP for Aberavon – quick to salute the opposition, and the spirit of the occasion.
“Stonewall and Stonewall FC do great work to promote equality and diversity, and today’s match showed that Stonewall FC play a great game of football and represent a truly great cause,” said Kinnock.
Since winning promotion last season, Stonewall FC’s firsts have had a difficult campaign but are on course to stay up in their 14-team division, with five games left to play.
However, they came into Wednesday’s friendly off the back of a 4-0 league win away to Sporting Hackney, and went on to produce another high-scoring performance.
Referee Gallagher echoed Kinnock’s comments, saying: “Today was about spreading the word, making people aware, and showcasing the talent of Stonewall FC.
“I was greatly impressed by the standard of their players.”
“It was a fantastic experience for us, and congratulations to the UK Parliamentary team and Stephen Kinnock for a highly competitive match.”