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Bradford City fans’ group become Euro stars

A BRADFORD City lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) supporters club has become the first in the UK to be inducted into a European group.

The Bantams group, set up in 2015, has joined the Queer Football Fanclubs (QFF) network.

QFF is an umbrella organisation representing LGBT+ fan groups from across Europe, and aims to aid inclusion in football and tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia where it exists in the game.

City’s group joins other similar organisations from Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, with clubs represented including Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Stuttgart.

Lindsay England and Councillor Richard Dunbar, founding members of the Bradford City LGBT+ fan group, made a presentation to the QFF conference in Dortmund, Germany, about the work that has been done over the past two years and how they intend to work more closely with Bradford City to ensure LGBT+ fans are truly a part of the Valley Parade club.

They now plan to submit a bid to host one of the QFF’s bi-annual conferences in Bradford in 2020.

Miss England, 51, who has been a City fan since 1975, said: “Bradford City LGBT+ fan group are very honoured to become the first UK fan club to be inducted into the QFF.

“We look forward to working in partnership with other fan groups across Europe to ensure LGBT+ fans are included in all aspects of the game. Our group has been received really well over the last two years.

“Hopefully we can continue what we are doing now and spark some more interest in Bradford City.

“We don’t keep a record of our membership number, but we have more than 620 followers on Twitter.”

As part of the scheme, Bradford Brewery has become a safe space for LGBT supporters to drink in on City matchdays.

The club has flown the rainbow flag, which symbolises gay pride, at its ground on matchdays from the 2013/14 season, to show its support against homophobia.

Cllr Dunbar said: “This is great news for Bradford and is recognition of the good work that has gone on to make LGBT+ fans feel truly included at Valley Parade.

“Representatives from across Europe are impressed by Bradford City’s work on being a truly inclusive club and we look forward to working more closely on them on this agenda.”

To join the Bradford City LGBT+ fan group, or for more information, email bradfordcitylgbtfans@gmail.com.

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