Liverpool Football Club has announced it will be the first Premier League club in the country to be officially represented at a Pride event, although no footballers have been announced as taking part.
Club representatives will turn out for Liverpool Pride on Saturday 4 August to oppose homophobia in the sport.
Liverpool FC will provide a banner featuring the club crest with LFC staff and LFC Ladies FC (the Liverpool Football Club women’s team) marching together with LFC LGBT and other supporters at Liverpool Pride.
The club will also have a stall at the market place on the day at the festival’s Pier Head site and will provide signed merchandise for fundraising auctions.
LFC has already worked with Liverpool Pride on the ‘Football v Homophobia’ tournament, which was hosted at the club’s Academy for the first time earlier this year, and supports the Justin Campaign, which works towards eliminating homophobia in the sport.
LFC supporters have been welcomed to march under the club banner regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Ian Ayre Managing Director at Liverpool Football Club said: “Here at LFC, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that equality and principles of inclusion are embedded into all areas of Liverpool Football Club and for many years, we have taken positive steps to promote our stance against homophobia both on and off the pitch.”
“I am delighted to confirm that some Club employees and members from the Liverpool Ladies squad will be participating in the event on 4th August. The event is certainly a positive talking point around Liverpool and it’s an excellent platform to attract local communities and people from across the country to experience the diverse culture of our fantastic city. We wish you every success for the Liverpool Pride “Nautical but Nice” event and we are delighted to provide you with the support of Liverpool Football Club.”
Liverpool Pride organisers said they would be delighted for other football clubs and their supporters to march under different banners if they wish.
Zoran Blackie Chair of Liverpool Pride said: “Liverpool Football Club have been going through huge changes, and one of them is to work closely with all their supporters – and they’ve showed that before by hosting our Football Vs Homophobia tournament. Now by standing alongside us for the march, LFC are showing the LGBT community in the city that ‘we’ll never walk alone”
Paul Amann LGBT Supporters’ Committee Representative said: “The response of fellow fans has been amazing and whether they are gay or straight many are joining Liverpool Pride’s march in solidarity and celebration of the city’s LGBT community.”
The inaugural Liverpool Pride festival in 2010 attracted over 20,000 people, 44,000 in 2011. The event was established in 2010 and now takes place each year to coincide with the anniversary of murdered gay teenager Michael Causer.
Liverpool Pride 2012 will take place at Liverpool’s iconic pier-head and throughout the Stanley Street Quarter, mustering at William Brown Street from 11am, setting off at midday.
The festival’s ‘Nautical but Nice’ theme was chosen in a ballot by 700 members of the local LGBT community.