Rover and Out, the Official LGBT+ Supporters Group for Tranmere Rovers, held a Welcome Meeting for new and returning members last night at Prenton Park.
Founded only last year, the newly launched community has a simple aim - to celebrate diversity among football supporters and ensure that all fans can feel safe and welcome watching the game they love. Rover and Out are proud to be fighting homophobia and discrimination in football from the heart of a professional Club.
Starting with the formation of the TRFC Incident Line in 2016 Tranmere has proved itself to be ‘More Than A Football Club’, focusing on diversity improvements throughout the years as well as promoting the visibility of Rover and Out at national Pride events.
Tranmere Rovers players Sid Nelson and Keiron Morris were special guests at the welcome meeting as team and Club staff showed their support for a vital cause in the modern game.
Taking place in the TRFC Gold Lounge, the night included a fantastic buffet courtesy of Cowsheds Catering, a special prize quiz and exclusive ground tour of Prenton Park.
Guest speakers included Maria Horner, Fans for Diversity UK Campaigns Officer, and Di Cunningham, chair of Pride in Football. There were also speeches from Christine Roberts, TRFC Senior Commercial Manager and Adam Siddorn from the Tranmere Rovers Supporters Liason Group.
Discussing her organisations outlook for the group, Maria said “Our job is to support supporters. The Fans for Diversity campaign is about generating routes for supporters from underrepresented communities to feel welcome and involved in the safety of their stadiums. We want to ensure everybody feels comfortable enjoying the game, whether it’s home or away, and is secure enough to invite other people from those communities with them.
Tranmere Rovers have an outstanding community feel to their Club and we have no doubt that working with them going forward will provide a whole host of exciting opportunities for LGBT+ visibility in football.”
It’s estimated that around 6% of the population identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans; in football terms that’s more than 2000 LGBT fans at an average Premier League game.
Di Cunningham from Pride in Football said “It should really start on the pitch, it can’t have passed anyones attention that there is still no openly gay player in the elite game. There has been progression in the Women’s game, with a number of professional players being out and proud, but for some reason it remains at a standstill with the men.
All we can hope for is that if supporter groups like this continue to campaign for diversity and tolerance then it will eventually trickle through to the game.
I can’t believe how many people have attended this event considering there are bigger teams in the local area - it has truly proved to me that Tranmere Rovers is a huge part of the community!
It has been an amazing night, the players were great to chat to and it’s fantastic to see them really get involved with the issue.”
For more information on Rover and Out, follow the groups Twitter account @roverandout or check the Tranmere Rovers website for event updates.