Gay football team Yorkshire Terriers FC aim to kick homophobia out of football

YORKSHIRE’S only gay football team have set out on a campaign to kick homophobia out of football.

The Yorkshire Terriers football team

YORKSHIRE’S only gay football team have set out on a campaign to kick homophobia out of football.

The Yorkshire Terriers headed north of the border to play a match and support Kick It Out’s week of action.

The team, which included Richard Sheard, from Brighouse, were in Edinburgh to play HotScots in the top division of the Gay Football Supporters Network (GFSN) national league.

The match ended as a hard fought 0-0 draw, with both teams lining up together before the game with the Kick It Out One Game One Community banner as well as holding show racism the red card placards.

The team also included Rob Graham, a former University of Huddersfield student and Huddersfield Town fan.

Ian James, captain of the Terriers said the league is vital to supporting the kick homophobia out campaign.

He said: "We fully support kicking homophobia out of football. Part of the reason the GFSN league exists is so that anyone can enjoy their football without sexuality being an issue."

HotShots chairman Kev Rowe added that professional clubs are giving Kick It Out and Show Racism the Red Card their support.

He said: "It is just as important at grass routes level that we send out a clear message that all forms of discrimination in football are unwelcome."

Yorkshire Terriers were one of the first gay-friendly football teams to be established in the UK in 1997. The club are the current holders of the GFSN National cup.

The club has also played in a number of international tournaments and the GFSN league since it was formed in 2002, winning once and coming in the top three on a further five occasions.

The GFSN national league includes teams from Brighton, Leicester, Edinburgh and Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Terriers play out of division one and currently sit in third place after winning one of their opening three games.

The league has grown over the last 10 seasons, expanding from four competing teams to a total of 20 teams in the current season.

The club isn’t just about competitive football though, with kick about sessions held throughout the year at the John Charles centre for sport. The sessions are open to any players regardless of ability or orientation.

Jim Hearson, media officer at the Yorkshire Terriers said: "The Yorkshire Terriers is about more than football, it is all about the social side of things too.

"The club has around 30 members at the moment, these include players and none players. Some of the members are partners of players who come to watch the games and can enjoy the benefits provided by the club."

He added: "Some of the teams in the league do play in local leagues as well as the GFSN league. But the GFSN is all about fun and enjoyment, where players can play without worrying about issues like homophobia.

"Players feel more included because they can be social and talk about things like which men they fancy, whereas even if a local team isn’t been homophobic they may still feel left out."

 

Journalists

Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Val Javin
Features Editor
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent