On Sunday, the Panthers once again took to the football pitch - only this time we weren't in kit, and the crowd was a little bigger than usual! We were invited to Ashton Gate as part of Bristol City FC's Rainbow Laces celebration to launch our landmark partnership with the club.
A delegation of Panthers came to Ashton Gate to watch City's Rainbow Laces tie against Millwall, and met with the Chief Executive of Bristol City Community Trust, Dan White. This relationship will see the Panthers pair with the Community Trust to provide guidance on LGBT inclusion within the club and the wider footballing community. And the Trust will very kindly providing more shirts (and shorts and socks!) for a brand new kit for the Panthers. A recent video from BBC Radio Bristol starring the Panthers was also broadcast on the big screens in the stadium at half time. Check it out here!
Panthers Vice Chair Pete Davey said:
"Joining with Bristol City is a really exciting and progressive step that will encourage people to play and watch football that haven't felt welcomed before.
"We are proud to join with Bristol City to show that football is for everyone. Fans from our team have been coming to Ashton Gate for many years, and it is a fantastic statement from the club to now have an LGBT+ team as part of the Bristol City family.”
Bristol City Community Trust CEO Dan White said:
"It's great to have the Panthers join with us to promote inclusive football for all. This is part of our ‘We are City’ project where we support grassroots teams and this marks the start of an ongoing partnership which will see the Panthers play in the red of Bristol City.
"The Panthers have gone from strength to strength and I hope this partnership will continue to help the team grow and give more people the opportunity to play football in an environment they feel comfortable in.”
This is a very exciting moment for the Panthers, as we become only the second LGBT+ football club to partner formally with an English Football League team. We're looking forward to a productive partnership ahead, where we can work with Bristol City to prove that football truly is for everyone.