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Tuesday, August 20, 2013


 HYDE FC introduce LGF posters.

Continuing their commitment to being an LGBT inclusive club, Skrill Conference Premier side Hyde FC have introduced the LGF's (Lesbian and Gay Foundation) support/helpline  posters and  booklets around the club.

  This information is a small part of the many available information packs to some 400,000 plus LGBT people in the Manchester area  who access the charities resources each year. It's believed that this is the first time any football club in the UK has visibly displayed any such resources to reach out too a fan base of LGBT supporters and club staff alike with the information being displayed on notice boards inside club premises and also on stands for both home and visiting supporters.

The action taken by the club follows on from the partnership with Just a Ball Game? in previous years whereby they have taken a stand to raise awareness around LGBT issues, gender identity, and challenge what is seen to be homophobia and anti-gay, showcasing the "Think Before You Chant!" and "Time For Change-Now!" campaigns.

To find out more about the LGF please use this link:

 To find out more about the work of Just A Ball Game? and how your team/ club can be involved in challenging homophobia in football please follow us on TWITTER: @justaballgame or visit our website:

Contact Lindsay England:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013



EnglandFans FC are delighted to announce that arrangements are nearly complete for two days of great celebrations at Paddington Old Cemetery, on Tuesday 13th August 2013, and Marlow Football Club, on Wednesday 14th August 2013, to commemorate the first ever official International Match which was played between England and Scotland which took place on 30th November, 1872.   The Captain of the England team that day was Cuthbert Ottaway who had played for Marlow Football club. Cuthbert Ottaway was a great sportsman excelling also at cricket, athletics, rackets, and real tennis - he tragically died at the early age of 28.
Football historians have recently discovered Cuthbert Ottaway`s grave and headstone in a dilapidated state in Paddington Old Cemetery in London.   An appeal for funds for its restoration has been successful (mostly from the Professional Footballers Association) and so there will be a ceremony at the cemetery on Tuesday 13th August at 11 a.m. to re-instate the headstone and return Cuthbert’s grave to its former, and rightful, glory. This event is open to the public, it’s free, and it would be nice to see as many England fans there, as possible. This event will appeal to those England fans that have an interest in the history of the game. A commemorative service of order will be handed out on the day. Paddington Old Cemetery is situated on Willesden Lane, London NW6 7SD. Parking will be available at the cemetery but for those attending using public transport, the nearest tube station is Kilburn (Jubilee line) and the nearest London Overground stations are Brondesbury and Brondesbury Park. For those driving, Willesden Lane is situated off the A5, Maida Vale/Kilburn High Road. Guests from the PFA and FA will be in attendance, as will the Mayor of Marlow and the chairman and directors from Marlow FC, and it is hoped that all in attendance will repair to the adjacent Prince of Wales, public house, for refreshments and the chance to talk with the guests.   
On Wednesday 14th August, to coincide with the England v Scotland International at Wembley (8 p.m. kick off), there will be two games in Marlow:
10 a.m. kick off at Riley Park:
Marlow FC Vets XI v EnglandFans FC Vets XI
Riley Park was formerly the Crown Ground and was where Marlow F.C. played from 1870 until 1916. This ground, still used for football, today, is where Cuthbert Ottaway would have played for Marlow FC.
The Marlow veteran’s team will include some recent Marlow favourites, including, Steve Croxford, Kieron Drake, Mattie Glynn, Kevin Stone and James Pritchard.
1 p.m. kick off at the Alfred Davis Memorial Sports Ground:
EnglandFans F.C. v Tartan Army Select FC.
The Tartan Army are coming to town and the official Scotland fans team, the Tartan Army Select FC will provide stiff opposition for the Three Lions fans team in this much anticipated, first-ever, Auld Enemy fans clash! If that wasn’t enough, there’s some big names lined-up to manage both teams. Manager, Garford Beck, has arranged for his old Grays Athletic gaffer, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Scotland legend, Frank Gray, to manage the Scots, whilst EnglandFans FC will be managed by two more of his old bosses (Grays Athletic and Croydon Athletic), former Fulham, Gillingham and Reading player, Neil Smith and former Tottenham Hotspur, Leyton Orient and Gillingham player, Tim O’Shea. Frank, of course, unique in English football, being the only man to play for two different English clubs’ in a European Cup Final, won a host of medals at Leeds and Forest under Don Revie and Brian Clough and also picked up 32 Scotland caps and played in the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. ‘Smudger’ Smith played under Kevin Keegan at Fulham and won promotion there and at Gillingham and Reading, too. TOSH made three first team appearances at Spurs under Terry Venables before moving onto Gillingham via a short spell with the O’s. TOSH made over 100 league appearances before moving to Hong Kong where he was voted Hong Kong Top Footballer in 1992-93, 1993-1994, 1996-97 & 1997-98. So, there’s a top line-up of managers to whet the appetite, one played in a world cup and all three played under former England managers! Fans of the clubs that our three honorary managers played for will not want to miss out on the chance of meeting, Frank, Neil and Tim. All three are terrific men and will be more than happy to chat and mingle with players and supporters from both camps. We are reliably informed that the Scots are coming to Marlow in big numbers so it would be nice to see a good number of England fans there, too.   
This game will be played for the Cuthbert Ottaway Memorial Cup.
Admission is free to both games, there will be ample, free and secure car-parking and a very collectable commemorative programme will be on sale at just £3.
Quality hot and cold food will be on sale, at the Alfred Davis memorial Sports Ground, very reasonably priced (much better than served up at Wembley Stadium and about a third of the price, too!) and the bar will be open all day, again, selling soft drinks and alcoholic beverages at very reasonable prices. Marlow FC has also said that fans will be able to wander round the clubhouse/boardroom and view the very historic artefacts on display at this wonderful football club.
For those who may be considering attending but are worried about public transport connections, don’t worry! Marlow FC is about four miles from High Wycombe train station and the trains from there run, very regularly, directly to Wembley Stadium train station, taking about 25 minutes
Come and witness another day in the illustrious histories of EnglandFans FC and Marlow Football Club.
Players are still invited to participate in both games, although numbers are strictly limited. Please contact Garford Beck for further details (see below).
For more information, please contact, team manager, Garford Beck on 07944-828527 or via e-mail at

Friday, August 09, 2013

“We are the Champions my friends, we’ll keep on fighting till the end.”


                                            “We are the Champions my friends, we’ll keep on fighting till the end.”

These are familiar words of a song -We are the Champions, written and performed by the British rock band Queen for their 1977 album News of The World.
 Here at Just A Ball Game? we hope this song can be an unofficial anthem for the up -coming 2014 Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympic Games in support of any LGBT athlete who will be participating in the events. Coincidently the Winter Olympic Games will take place between 7th Feb and 23rd Feb 2014 the same month that we in the UK celebrate LGBT History Month. A great way we at JBG? believe the world can unite and celebrate together to raise awareness around LGBT issues and visible inclusion, gender identity and challenge what is seen to be homophobia or anti-gay.

The Games are to be held in Sochi in Russia, where at present laws of this country state the following: Russia's lower house of parliament passed a law against the "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" (i.e. propaganda from "the gays"). The vote was of 436 in favour, 0 against. You could argue that the bill could have been more homophobic, since its original title was the law against "homosexual propaganda." The law against "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations," which the bill's defenders defined as "relations not conducive to procreation," is a step in the right direction, I guess. But if you suspect the legislation will not be applied to heterosexual couples who cannot or choose not to have biological children of their own, you are correct. The law imposes significant fines of up to $31,000 for providing information about the LGBT community to minors, holding gay pride events, speaking in defence of gay rights, or equating gay and heterosexual relationships. In a truly egalitarian and internationalist spirit, the bill applies to Russians and foreigners alike, as well as media organizations.

In 2010 here in the UK we at JBG? were disheartened to learn that FIFA (the global football  governing body) had given the 2018 World Cup Finals to Russia and then 2022 to Qatar. Many football fans the world over have since stated they were irate that Qatar with its 40* plus temperatures and laws around sale and consumption of alcohol had been chosen, and a number of LGBT campaign organisations were unhappy with the countries laws which are against homosexuality. But despite this there has been no real united front from football fans and countries FA’s to galvanise a campaign to force FIFA to change their decisions. At best a few grumbles were made and FIFA president Sepp Blatter came out with his usual comedy statement defending the awarding of the finals to a non-traditional football environment.

As a campaigner and highlighting issues about these countries laws with various football authorities in  the UK and Europe for a number of years previous to the decisions made, I was saddened that just like 3 years earlier in 2007 when the decision was taken to award the Winter Games to Sochi that very little word had been spoken when it mattered from the powers that be against countries applying to host and the world governing bodies of both FIFA and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) who are responsible for awarding the tournaments/games.

I personally have a real divided opinion at times on issues which arise around supporting a boycott or protest about such laws and their implementation, and the consequences the laws have around both human rights and equality for LGBT people in the host countries and for those tourists participating and enjoying a global sporting event.

I have visited Russia as an England football fan in October 2007 and the Neanderthal and at times inhumane way myself and the majority of fellow 4000 supporters were treated whilst on Moscow soil for 36 hours has resulted in me never wanting to set foot again in that country for any reason.
If there are to be talks of boycotts or protests,then during the bidding process years and at very latest the day of announcement of hosts I believe is the correct time to do such. As I fear that concerns about the safety and security of athletes, coaches and backroom staff and visiting public only a few months before is too little too late. Alongside of this, it seems totally unfair on those who compete who have trained and adjusted lifestyles in order to be in the best shape possible physically and mentally to throw away the years of hard work attaining this by calling for a boycott or moving the events to another country. After all for many athletes this is their chosen profession.

Along with this sports fans the world over often work hard and save up their wages making sacrifices along the way to afford corporate ticket prices and make arrangements around travel and accommodation  well in advance of huge sporting events in order for them to attend what could be for them a once in a life time experience.

It’s also sad for us to see that in the resent media hype around the issues facing the games and competitors in just over 6 months time that no mention has been given to the fact that the Winter Paralympic Games also take place in Sochi. Our very own patrons list here at JBG? consists of non other than Claire Harvey captain of GB Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team. Could it be that the global awareness of Paralympians as super athletes in their own right doesn’t need to be given a high profile in Sochi, or is this competition another aspect of human life a Putin government would rather not promote?

It’s too late for a boycott for a number of reasons whatever the rights or wrongs around one anyway, as there would have to be a complete blank of the Games globally to have any effect and in a world of marketing and sponsorship there would not be the support needed. The legacy from the winter Olympics is what?  we ask, oh yeah the money spinning agreement for Russia to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix on the Streets there for the 6 years following the Games!

 We would like to see the IOC make changes to its constitution and charter, look in-house and take more responsibility around it’s official social media outlets which have recently themselves been seen by all to state that homophobic language is ok to use, and request that individual countries taking part  ensure they have an LGBT section within their National Houses set ups at the Games.
Finally, Just a Ball Game?  would like LGBT’s the world over to adopt  the use of  the Queen song ‘WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS’ as an official anthem for Sochi 2014.

Foot note.
Our campaign friends in France and other counties through (Annie Sugier,Présidente de la Ligue du Droit Internatitonal des Femmes) produced this information in the lead up to the London 2012 games as part of their booklet:
“Everyone has the right to take part in sport. Only a small number of sportsmen and women openly declare their homosexuality. These Games (London 2012) must demonstrate that the Olympic movement is aware of this issue and be ready to make a lasting commitment to fight homophobia in sport at all levels.The 2012 Games must be a secure and welcoming place where everyone must be able to take part without fear in respect of their sexual orientation.”

The booklet in full can be found here:

or you can contact us at and we will email you a copy.

Lindsay England.

Monday, August 05, 2013



Here at Just a Ball Game? we are delighted to announce that one of our patrons, FA WSL and Manchester City Ladies Goalkeeper Andie (Andrea) Worrall has made a short list of 3 nominations for the UK Homo Hero-ROLE MODEL OF THE YEAR AWARD 2013.          
The voting is now open for the general public to determine who will be the winner and the announcement will be made at an awards ceremony in October. The prestigious award was won for the first time in 2011 by Sir Ian McKellen.

VOTE here:

We spoke to Andie to congratulate her on the good news and she had this to say: ”I am extremely proud to be a patron of Just A Ball Game? and now also proud to have been nominated for this award.Hopefully with the continued excellent work from organisations such as JBG? we can make positive contributions too lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.”

Andie has made 110 appearances  for current club  Manchester City Ladies F.C.  and also has 6 International caps under her belt  playing for Wales. She is currently the only 'out' in public LGB&T player in the game at elite level in the UK. Andie is involved with ‘Just A Ball Game?’ as one of their Patrons, doing interviews and photo shoots, who aim to use this work as part of an education package in the near future. It is hoped that by being involved in this type of work for a not-foot-profit voluntary community organisation like Just a Ball Game? Andie will be helping to raise awareness around LGB&T participation and inclusion and gender identity in football and also challenge homophobia.

See more on JBG? and Andie here: