Players in six Essex teams will wear Rainbow Laces in their boots on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November as part of a the biggest ever display of support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in football.
The FA and the Essex County FA are working alongside Stonewall Charity to make football inclusive for everyone, whether they’re a fan, player, manager, coach or referee. The aim is that one simple action - wearing Rainbow Laces - can make a big difference to amplify the conversation and set a strong example to everyone in the local community.
The Wembley Arch will be lit up in rainbow colours on Saturday as part of the weekend campaign, raising awareness of the following statistics:
* 72 per cent of football fans have heard homophobic abuse
* Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of sport fans say more should be done to make LGBT people feel accepted in sport
* Almost two thirds of young people (60 per cent) say that open LGBT players would have a positive impact on the culture of sport
* More than half of sports fans (55 per cent) say they wish more sports players were open about their sexual orientation
In Essex, three matches will feature players wearing Rainbow Laces, with the captains also sporting rainbow-coloured armbands:
* Southend Manor vs Hullbridge Sports FC (Essex Senior League, Saturday)
* Great Notley (Ravens) vs Great Notley (Falcons) (Blackwater & Dengie Youth League Under 15s, Sunday)
* Bocking Social Reserves vs Sporting 77 (Braintree & North Essex Sunday League, Sunday)
Take part in the Rainbow Laces Campaign at your club this weekend. Before your game, join together with the opposing team and take a picture with rainbow colours, upload your images to Twitter and include #RainbowLaces @EssexCountyFA @FA and @StonewallUK, plus the team names.