A gay-friendly football team in the London borough of Bexley has claimed its first tournament prize since it was established two years ago.
Bexley Invicta FC was established in January 2011, and finished as a runner up in the Bristol Challenge Cup on Sunday.
The squad refers to itself as the only gay-friendly football squad in South East London and Kent.
Club chairman Brian Silk said: “Taking home our first trophy is a fantastic achievement for the club. We were up against clubs who have been around a lot longer than us and this shows how far we’ve come in a little over two years.
“On our trip, we didn’t just play football, but went out in Bristol for two nights running… and we were able to return to Kent on Sunday to secure a hard-fought 3-3 draw with east London’s gay-friendly team, Pheonix FC, in a league match.”
The club went to Bristol with two teams to play against twelve sides from across southern England, and having made their way to the final of the annual five-a-side competition, they lost 4-2 to the Bristol Panthers.
The team dedicated its participation in the tournament to Football v Homophobia’s 2013 month of action.
They will travel to Lyon next month to participate in their first international tournament.
The club describes itself as: “Open to all, regardless of sexuality, ability or experience, who want to play football in a gay-friendly setting.
“The club is based in Bexleyheath, and football-playing commenced on 15 January 2011 with a kickabout in Danson Park.”
Last week, the Football v Homophobia campaign sent a toolkit to clubs guiding them in how to combat homophobia and reach out to LGBT fans and players, in a move backed by the England manager and West Ham team.
Writing on the homepage of his website, American international and former Leeds United player, Robbie Rogers, came out, reflecting on his life’s dreams and goals, and said that keeping “secrets can cause internal damage”.
Last October, speaking to PinkNews.co.uk, Anton Hysen, the world’s only professional openly gay footballer said reasons to do with sponsorship explained the lack of out top division stars.
West Ham footballer, Matt Jarvis, has appeared on the cover of Attitude magazine in January, and gave an interview saying gay footballers should come out, that they would be supported, and that they might even play better if they did.
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