Over 52,000 people are believed to have attended a rainy Liverpool Pride 2012, organisers have said.

The largest free Pride event outside London, Liverpool Pride 2012 took place at the city’s pier-head and Stanley Street Quarter this weekend.

The march itself was larger than in previous years, with 5,000 people taking part and 10,000 spectators lining the cities streets to watch the nautical themed procession.

For first time ever, a Premier League football club, Liverpool FC was represented at a Pride March with staff, supporters and members of the LFC women’s team all taking part, marching behind an LFC banner.

New patron Angela Eagle MP marched at the head of the procession alongside Liverpool Pride Trustees, representatives from the City Council including Lady Mayor Cllr Sharon Sullivan and Deputy elected Mayor Paul Brant and the family of murdered teenager Michael Causer.

Marcus Collins, Liz McClarnon and 2 Shoes were among the day’s musical performers.

Celebrities including Alex Gerrard, the wife of LFC’s Steven Gerrard, the cast of Desperate Scousewives, the Mayor of Liverpool were present. Lee Latchford Evans from Steps came along to support his girl band ConcreteRose who performed on the Main Stage.

Zoran Blackie, Chair of Liverpool Pride said: “It may have rained on our parade but it didn’t dampen our spirits. I am so grateful to all of the team, volunteers, sponsors, venues and most importantly the local LGBT community, their friends and families who made the day so special and our city loud and proud. Here’s to next year!”

Now in its third year, the first Liverpool Pride festival attracted over 20,000 people, which was doubled to over 44,000 in 2011 and now increased to 52,000 in 2012.

The festival came about following the launch of the LGB&T Network, at which the public voted for a Pride festival to engage, empower and involve the LGB&T communities within the city. This was fully endorsed by Liverpool City Council in January 2009. Following a number of high profile attacks in the city, the event was established in 2010 and now takes place each year to coincide with the anniversary of Michael Causer’s death.