Between 22 November and 8 December 2019, Liverpool County FA will be joining the country in supporting the Rainbow Laces campaign; an initiative created by charity Stonewall, which campaigns for LGBT+ equality and inclusion within sport.
The campaign is one that has achieved huge support across all levels of football, with football players, coaches, referees and volunteers at all levels sporting the trademark rainbow laces in games during the weeks of action.
However, this year Liverpool County FA is keen to ensure even more support for the campaign than ever across Merseyside and has teamed up with its affiliated LGBT football team, Mersey Marauders, to champion Rainbow Laces throughout the fortnight.
As part of the partnership, Mersey Marauders’ secretary, Paul Williams, has become Liverpool County FA’s Rainbow Laces Ambassador.
In addition, Liverpool County FA has arranged for the Hallmark Security North West Counties Football League First Division fixture between St Helens Town and Ashton, to be played on Saturday 30 November at Ruskin Drive Sports Ground, to be a focal Rainbow Laces fixture where everybody involved in the club will be sporting rainbow laces and supporting the campaign.
Alongside this, all 70 teams playing in Liverpool County FA’s Liverpool Futsal Fives, age groups from Under-7 to Under-16, will also be given pairs of rainbow laces to back the campaign.
Dave Pugh, Liverpool County FA CEO, said: “Sport in general should be enjoyed by everybody and anybody who wishes to take part – and in the case of football, this is a message that Liverpool County FA is fully supportive of and passionate about promoting.
“We’re proud to back Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign and are delighted to have Paul and everybody at Mersey Marauders on board, particularly Paul as our Rainbow Laces ambassador. Football is a game for all and I’d encourage as many people involved in all levels of football across Merseyside to show their support to help eradicate discrimination and promote inclusion for our LGBT+ community.”
Paul Williams, Club Secretary of Mersey Marauders, added: “I am honoured to be asked to become the Rainbow Laces Ambassador for Liverpool County FA. I am extremely grateful to manage and play football with players from all backgrounds and sexualities in a supportive environment at Mersey Marauders, but recognise that challenges still exist in making the game truly inclusive.
“The Rainbow Laces Campaign is a great vehicle to celebrate success, challenge stereotypes and breakdown boundaries. I look forward to working with Liverpool County FA as we seek to empower and support LGBTQ+ players at the grassroots level of the game.”
Any leagues, clubs or players wishing to show support for the Rainbow Laces campaign can do so by visiting www.stonewall.org.uk, where pairs of laces can be ordered.
All participants showing their support are encouraged to share content of what they’re doing to back Rainbow Laces via Liverpool County FA’s social media platforms, using the hashtag #RainbowLaces and mentioning @Liverpool_CFA on Twitter, @Liverpool_FA on Instagram or Liverpool County Football Association on Facebook.
Huge thanks to all of the clubs below, who have pledged to support the Rainbow Laces campaign on Merseyside.
Kirkby Town U11s Cobras
MSB Woolton Sampdoria
Netherley Woodlane Legion JFC
Seneley and Garswood
Glenbuck Hotel FC
Town Green Stripes
Rainhill United Reds 13s
Skelmersdale Youth JFC
Page Celtic FC
AFC Warner Colts
Formby Community FC U13
Goalzngirlz Cubs and Tigers (Two Teams)
MSB Inter Woolton
Boca Juniors Tevez
Tranmere Rovers Girls U16
Golborne Girls U16s
Mossley Hill Ladies
Merseyside Girls Under-16s
Merseyside Schools FA
Alder Ladies FC
Ashton Town Ladies AFC
Ashton Town AFC
Rainhill Town FC
Rainford Rangers Under-8s
Mossley Hill Athletic