Bradford City FC will fly rainbow pride flag on match days

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

Bradford City Football Club are flying the rainbow flag at their stadium on match days, the club has announced.

The League One side, nicknamed The Bantams, say that they are flying the flag at the club’s Coral Windows Stadium as a mark of solidarity with the LGBT community.

The flag, which is located at the back of Block A in the main stand, has been raised at every one of the team’s home fixtures since the start of the 2013-14 season.

A spokesperson for City said: “Bradford City FC prides itself on being inclusive to all and welcomes participants and spectators to the stadium whatever their social background, colour, religion or sexual orientation. We are happy to fly the flag as an indication we are an open and inclusive club.”

Lindsay England, founder of LGBT sports campaign group Just a Ball Game? added: “The club has been active for a number of years now against homophobia and discrimination, and this is a great way to show how inclusive they are for LGBT fans of football.

“With this flag the club shows they are giving a hugely visible sign that these issues have great importance at Bradford City and are working hard on them, and welcoming a local LGBT community.

“A number of our partner organisations and patrons have backed the initiative and said it is a great message to send out to LGBT supporters of the club and also for the football world, now we await to see if other professional and non-league teams followed suit.”

The announcement comes just two days after Stonewall teamed up with Paddy Power to launch a new campaign to combat homophobia in football. The campaign has seen rainbow patterned laces distributed to every footballer across all 134 professional teams in the UK. Players have been urged to wear the laces as a mark of support for gay footballers.

Joey Barton has become the first professional player to announce their support for the campaign, saying that “people’s sexuality shouldn’t be an issue” in the sport.

Bradford’s move follows in the footsteps of German football club St Pauli, which announced in July its own plan to fly the rainbow flag at its home stadium.

Last year, Liverpool Football Club became the first Premiership side to be officially represented at a Pride parade, although none of the team’s players took part.