Proud Salopian will host the official launch of their group before the Gillingham match Tuesday 22nd October 2019 from 6pm.
All the details are on this poster & we ask all who wish to attend and support this event, please register your free ticket.
Tuesday 22nd October 2019 saw the official launch of Shrewsbury Town Football Club's Proud Salopians supporters’ group - representing supporters from the LGBTQ+ community and their allies - with special guests Maria Horner (Chair of the Lady Imps Supporters Association) & Anwar Uddin (ex-professional footballer & Assistant Manager at Aldershot Town FC) both in attendance representing Fans for Diversity.
The Fans for Diversity campaign was launched jointly by the Football Supporters Association (FSA – previously Football Supporters Federation – FSF) & Kick It Out in 2014 with the aim to celebrate diversity among football fans, bring football to a wider audience than ever before and ensure all fans can feel safe when they go to watch any football match
Shrewsbury Town Football Club has been fantastically supportive of the creation of Proud Salopians, from the boardroom down through the whole club. As a group, Proud Salopians are fans of our football club – the existence of the group seeks to provide both a voice and safe space where supporters identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or indeed anywhere else on the LGBTQ+ spectrum and their allies (regardless of their gender, background, ethnicity or sexual orientation) can feel safe, welcome and included as a part of the larger STFC community and enjoy watching the sport we all love as we follow Shrewsbury Town.
Maria Horner explained the work she does with the FSA & Kick it Out alongside Anwar to celebrate diversity among football fans while creating a safe environment for all ages, disability, race, faith, gender and sexual orientation. Full details are here http://www.fsf.org.uk/campaigns/fans-for-diversity/
Anwar gave an insight into his career history as a former professional footballer - from the age of 13 at West Ham United through to his loan spell at Telford United FC (boo!) where he played alongside Shrewsbury Town’s current manager Sam Ricketts – he ended his playing career as a professional at Barnet Football Club claiming never to have been with a team that had won at Shrewsbury either at the Gay Meadow or the Montgomery Waters Meadow. After retiring, Anwar progressed to coaching and is currently assistant manager at Aldershot Town in the Vanarama National League. He described his personal experiences of racist and homophobic language across football over the years, from the terraces to the changing rooms- and now through his work with the FSA & Kick it Out, he works with both League and Non-League clubs and communities to discuss and educate in the hope to change people’s attitudes and spread the Fans for Diversity message of tolerance, inclusivity, diversity and respect.
Proud Salopians unveiled a permanent banner funded by the Fans for Diversity campaign which will be hung in the stands permanently at Shrewsbury Town’s Montgomery Waters Meadow - the message “ONE CLUB, ONE TOWN, EVERYONE WELCOME” promoting the increasingly diverse and inclusive nature of our great football club and its support.
Proud Salopians founder Andy would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Maria and Anwar for taking time out of their busy schedules to visit Shrewsbury and speak at the launch - along with the attending representatives from Shrewsbury Town in the Community, the OSC & Supporters Parliament, Supporters Liaison Officer Mike Davies and BBC Radio Shropshire’s Mark Elliott and Stuart Dunn (who attended the start of our event before racing to his commentary post for BBC Radio Shropshire!) on helping to make it a historic and memorable evening for Proud Salopians both before and after the Gillingham game.