Albion group Proud Baggies recognised for work against homophobia

Proud Baggies, the Albion fan group formed to promote LGBT inclusivity, have been named ‘Best Supporter Group’ at the inaugural Football v Homophobia awards.

It represents outstanding progress by Proud Baggies just under two years since the Club was first approached to help establish and support the group.

Since then the group have gone from strength to strength and Founder Piero Zizzi said: "To continue this club’s tradition of breaking down barriers and being a beacon of diversity makes us very proud. 

“There are now over 50 LGBT+ Supporters’ Groups across the country and we were up against some fierce competition alongside fellow nominees Proud Lilywhites (Spurs) and Marching Out Together (Leeds). 

“We owe a huge thanks to everyone at the club; staff, supporters and players for their continued support as we play our part in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment at WBA."

Albion Director of Communications Martin Swain said: “We’re delighted for Proud Baggies. It’s barely been a couple of years since Piero first contacted us to discuss their formation and they have made huge strides since then. This award will be thoroughly deserved and well-earned.”

Football v Homophobia is an international initiative that exists to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation gender identity and expression at all levels of football.

Lou Englefield, the Football v Homophobia Campaign Lead, said: "The Supporters' Group category was highly competitive which highlighted the tremendous power of supporters' groups in helping fans engage with the professional game.  

“It is a testament to the fantastic work of Proud Baggies, both at The Hawthorns and in the wider community, that they took the top award on the night."