BY CALUM FRASER email@example.com
Charlton Athletic became the first football team to have a float at the Pride parade in London.
Charlton’s LQBTQI+ friendly football team, CACT Invicta FC, and supporters’ group Proud Valiants, led a float around central London as part of the Pride celebrations on Saturday, July 7.
Participants walked behind CACT’s LGBTQI+ themed minibus, while students from the University of Greenwich and young people from Woolwich Common Youth Hub showcased the banners they had made.
Around 500 LGBTQI+ groups and more than 30,000 people took part in the parade, while hundreds of thousands lined the streets.
The Charlton group danced, waved flags, kicked around inflatable footballs and also shared goal updates from England’s 2-0 World Cup win against Sweden with cheering crowds.
Their theme was All Together, All Proud, All Charlton. Michael Seeraj, CACT’s head of equality, diversity and inclusion, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people in our Pride in London group.
“There was a brilliant atmosphere throughout the day, and the overwhelmingly positive response from crowds underlines just how much desire there is for football to break down barriers for LGBTQI+ people.”
Gary Ginnaw, CACT Invicta FC’s player-manager, said: “CACT Invicta FC were very proud to be part of the first ever Charlton Pride in London float.
“So many people on the day were congratulating us for taking part with such a huge group making a massive impact in front of the whole of London and beyond – football is for everyone.”
Rob Harris, Proud Valiants’ chairman, said: “Homophobia has no place in today’s society anywhere and it was a brilliant day with an awesome win for England which we shared with a really enthusiastic crowd.
“To see so many red Charlton T-shirts was an amazing spectacle, and we owe a real thanks to all the people who joined us on such a hot day and made a huge sacrifice by not watching the match.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.