Non-league Altrincham FC have received global praise after launching the world’s first football kit based solely on the rainbow colours of the LGBT+ pride flag.
Altrincham 1, Homophobia 0.
Each February, the Greater Manchester club dedicate a match to promoting Football vs Homophobia but this year, they will go a step further by swapping their usual red and white stripes for a one-off kit based on the LGBT+ Pride flag.
Messages of support have come from new Robins supporters as far away as Australia, Hong Kong and the United States and manufacturers SK Kits have worked hard to keep up with demand for the shirts which can be bought for just £25 from the club’s online shop.
Whilst VfL Bochum were early adopters of the look and teams such as St Pauli, Rayo Vallecano and CD Guadalajara have all shown solidarity with LGBT+ supporters in carrying elements of the rainbow flag on their shirts; it is believed that Altrincham will be the first club to wear a football shirt made solely of those colours in a competitive match.
Altrincham are famous for a string of FA Cup giant-killings and have won the FA Trophy twice, but off the field, the Robins have long been committed to promoting equality, inclusivity and diversity among their supporters, players and staff irrespective of age, gender, disability, ethnic background, beliefs or sexuality.
The club has taken steps to ensure the safety and comfort of all visitors to their Moss Lane home and hope to encourage more supporters to join them through their “unswerving support” for their local community.
Sponsor J. Davidson & Sons have kindly donated space on the shirt to Football v Homophobia, and SK Kits deserve an awful lot of credit for producing the bespoke set of shirts that will achieve cult status in years to come.
From Clapton CCFC’s anti-fascist away shirts to Doncaster Rovers’ new third kit promoting conversation on men’s mental health and suicide prevention, football clubs and manufacturers have recognised that supporting a cause through design can bring global attention to the barriers and taboos that still exist in the macho world of sport.
All power to Altrincham for their community efforts, the piece of history they will carve on February 16th, and for the social victories they help to win off the pitch.
Altrincham will wear the one of a kind kits in their Vanarama National League North clash with Bradford Park Avenue on February 16th
The match-worn shirts will then be auctioned for charity with proceeds going to the Proud Trust, a LGBT+ youth charity from Manchester.