Essex grassroots footballers wore Rainbow Laces in their boots across three weekends in November and December in support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) people in the sport as part of a campaign organised by Stonewall.
From Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November, teams dedicated their matches to the charity and were provided with laces by the Essex County FA so they could ‘lace up’ on their chosen weekend. The aim was to help make football inclusive for everyone, whether they’re a fan, player, manager, coach or referee.
Rainbow Laces amplified the conversation and set a strong example to everyone in the local community. “We must thank everyone involved for the success of the three weekends, especially the Essex Sunday Corinthian League, the Pope & Smith Chelmsford Sunday League and the Essex Alliance League,” explained the County FA’s Cindi Chatha.
“Regardless of the county or campaign, it’s essential we show support and raise awareness, ensuring football is open and accessible to all. This was a national campaign supported by clubs from grassroots right through to the Premier League. It’s important to promote that everyone involved in sport shows their support for LGBT+ equality and inclusivity.”
Participants uploaded images to Twitter and included #RainbowLaces @EssexCountyFA @FA and @stonewalluk. To find out more about inclusion projects in Essex football, browse the menus above or contact Cindi Chatha via (01245) 393090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weekend 1 (Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November)
Basildon Boys & Girls Club vs Rayleigh Boys (Southend & District Junior League Under 16s)
Ekco Whitecaps vs Leigh Rockets (Southend & District Junior League Under 15s)
Queens Park Hannakins vs Broomfield (Pope & Smith Chelmsford Sunday League)
Sparta Broomfield vs Danbury & Bicknacre (Pope & Smith Chelmsford Sunday League)
Stock United vs Ravens (Pope & Smith Chelmsford Sunday League)
Woodham Radars vs Bramston (Pope & Smith Chelmsford Sunday League)
Weekend 2 (Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th November)
Blue Marlin vs ACD United (Essex Alliance League)
Buckhurst Hill vs Great Bradfords (Rockets) (Essex Cordell Under 13s Cup)
Chelmsford City vs Takeley (Essex Cassels Under 16s Cup)
Haver Town vs Chingford Harriers (Essex Alliance League)
Ilford vs Buckhurst Hill (Essex Cassels Under 16s Cup)
Layer Colts vs Essex Minors (Hornchurch) (Falcons) (Essex Cassels Under 16s Cup)
Lymore Gardens vs Three Colts (Essex Alliance League)
Melbourne Sports vs Chingford United (Essex Alliance League)
Newham Royals vs Sungate Reserves (Essex Alliance League)
Witham Town vs Colebrook Royals (Yellows) (Essex Cassels Under 16s Cup)
Wivenhoe Tempest vs Billericay Town (Essex Cassels Under 16s Cup)
Weekend 3 (Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December)
Chelmsford City vs Hullbridge Sports (Essex County Women’s League)
Colchester Town vs Dagenham & Redbridge Girls (Essex County Girls’ League Under 13s Cup)
Dagenham & Redbridge Girls vs Writtle Minors (Essex County Girls’ League Under 15s Cup)
Dagenham & Redbridge Ladies vs Chelmsford City Reserves (Essex County Women’s League)