Stonewall FC may have narrowly lost out in the final of the gay World Cup earlier this year, but the UK’s leading gay football team had some good news to share this weekend.

The team has secured a one-year sponsorship deal with Barclays PLC, who also sponsor the Premier League.

The deal sees Barclays become the exclusive title sponsor of Stonewall FC’s three teams, and provide kit and equipment to the club.

As part of the new sponsorship, Stonewall FC will help provide support on Barclays equality and diversity programme.

Stonewall FC club chairman, Liam Jarneki, welcomed the one-year deal.

“Barclays investment is a fantastic opportunity for Stonewall FC to develop in the build up to the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA) Gay World Cup in London next year,” he said.

“Our aim is to help promote an environment where everyone can enjoy playing football, regardless of sexual orientation.”

Gary Hoffman, Barclays Group Vice Chairman, said the sponsorship deal brings together “two things that Barclays is passionate about – diversity and football.

“Barclays is synonymous with football through our long term sponsorship of the Premier League, and through our support for grassroots sports through our Spaces for Sports programme.

“We see this is as an important part of our continuing commitment to the lesbian and gay community, which started in 2001 when we were the first bank to join the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme.”

Since its formation in 1991, Stonewall FC has been triumphant in various competitions across the globe, including the 2005 European Gay Championships in Berlin and the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago.

The team returned from Argentina in September 2007, where they narrowly lost out to local side Los Dogos in the final of the IGLFA Gay World Cup.

London team Leftfooters FC won its bid to host the World Cup in August 2008 after IGLFA officials visited facilities at Regents Park.

Ten 11-a-side pitches and six 7-a-side pitches have been reserved for the event, which is supported by the Football Association, Westminster City Council, gay equality organisation Stonewall, the Mayor of London and Visit London.