Burgess leads support from Pompey
Pompey are delighted to be supporting Football v Homophobia (FvH) at tonight’s game against Blackpool.
As part of the month of action, the club have been working with Pompey in the Community, Hampshire FA and the club’s LGBT supporter group Fratton Fever to deliver training sessions to community coaches on dealing with homophobic language.
And youngster Jake Gunby, who plays for Jubilee 77, will be a special FvH mascot at the match, selected after a competition organised among its grassroots clubs by the county FA.
Christian Burgess took time out from preparing for the game to back the initiative and also supported the Rainbow Laces campaign earlier in the season
Pompey’s centre-back said: “Football is for everyone, so it is vital we support campaigns such as this and I am delighted to back it.”
Linda Webb-Bowman, who rans Fratton Fever, added: “Fratton Fever have been at the forefront of helping to establish a LGBT group within the club and it means we have firm support from the club.
“This sends out a clear message about how the club feels towards its LGBT fans.”
Matt York, community cohesion manager at Pompey in the Community, said: “Portsmouth is such an incredible, diverse city and the club harnesses the power of this city every day.
“Working closely with the club, we’re able to deliver impactful educational messages deep within the community, such as creating a safe, supportive environment for LGBT participants.”
Neil Cassar, CEO at Hampshire FA, added: “Our partnership with the club has continued to flourish with new opportunities and developments, showing how the county FA can work solidly with professional clubs to achieve great outcomes that show unity, promote equality, inclusivity, create a legacy – the very things this beautiful game provides.”
The Pompey Supporters’ Trust, which is the club’s principal shareholder, are also backing the initiative.
Their newly-appointed inclusion officer Pam Wilkins said: “Football should be accessible and available to all regardless of their race, religion, sexuality or disability.
“There is no place in football for racism or homophobia. PST are pleased to support Portsmouth Football Club’s Football v Homophobia initiative.”
For more details on how to get involved with Fratton Fever, click here to visit their Facebook page.
Click here for more information on Football v Homophobia and their campaigning.