Words: Steve Brown
Altrincham football club is set to wear a rainbow-inspired kit to ‘reflect the nation’ as a whole.
The non-league side Greater Manchester team have switched their traditional red and white striped kit and will don the rainbow colours in their National League North fixture against Bradford on February 16.
After the game, the kits – which features the logo for pro-LGBT+ group Football v Homophobia – will be sold at auction to raise money for the LGBT+ youth charity Pride Trust.
Club chairman Bill Waterson said in a statement on the club’s website: “We believe it will be the first time anywhere in the world that a senior football club has worn a kit solely modelled on the LGBT+ Pride Flag.
“And Altrincham will, therefore, be creating a small moment of football history.
“Football is our national sport and therefore it is part of our national identity, and attendance at football matches should at least reflect the nation as a whole.
“It would be good to have other role models and ones which can reach a bigger audience than we can.
“The more noise we make about this issue the less of an issue it will become.”
When Waterston joined the club’s board, he set up an inclusion and diversity program to encourage fans to come and watch the team.
He continued: “For me it was about making Altrincham FC relevant to every member of our community regardless of ethnicity, regardless of sexual orientation, religious preferences or gender.
“It’s about making an environment where everyone wants to come and watch and there isn’t that fear of going to a football ground.”