Club News

Proud Baggies secure third Football v Homophobia Awards title

Proud Baggies members holding up an Albion rainbow flag at The Hawthorns

West Bromwich Albion’s multi-award-winning LGBTQ+ supporters’ group Proud Baggies made it a hat-trick of Football v Homophobia Award wins recently, scooping Supporters’ Group of the year for the third time; previously in 2020 and 2021 and silver in 2022, at the prestigious awards. 

Proud Baggies were the first supporters’ group to win the accolade in 2020 at the inaugural awards, widely known for being LGBTQ+ football’s night of the year. 

Proud Baggies’ founder Piero Zizzi was on hand to receive the award from Kick it Out CEO Tony Burnett at the National Football Museum on behalf of the group, alongside member Jason Tatlock. 

On collecting the award, Piero thanked everyone at West Bromwich Albion Football Club, the Albion Foundation and their members - in particular co-lead Neil Basterfield - for their support in everything the group has achieved in the past year. 

One notable achievement which helped clinch the top prize was the formation of Proud Baggies FC; an LGBTQ+ inclusive football club, providing a welcoming safe space for people to play football regardless of age, ability, sexuality or gender.

Proud Baggies FC was launched in December 2023 and this weekend also played their first competitive fixture in Nottingham as part of a ‘Football v Homophobia’ tournament.

The inclusive club trains every Monday night at the WBA Academy Dome and continues to run their friendly Friday night sessions at the WBA Community Sports Hall. 

Lou Englefield, Campaign Director of Football v Homophobia said: “The support of clubs and of fan groups - including this year's category winners Proud Baggies - is crucial to the success of the FvH Awards. By demonstrating how much our LGBTQ+ and allies community in football values dedicated work in inclusion and anti-discrimination, we inspire similar activity across the game.

“Thank you to all our supporters for amplifying the FvH campaign message of 'Football for Everyone' and making the Awards night such an impactful celebration.”

The Supporters’ group, founded in 2017, was also celebrated for its work with the club on tackling discrimination and making the club an inclusive environment for all. The group most recently delivered education sessions with West Bromwich Albion Women and the Girls’ Emerging Talent Centre at The Hawthorns. 

Piero Zizzi said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have won this award for a third time - Football v Homophobia is the leading LGBTQ+ football campaign in the country so to receive this recognition from leaders within the game is an honour and inspires us to continue our work with the club and our community, ensuring everyone feels welcome at West Bromwich Albion Football Club.” 

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