Proud Valiants meet the men’s first-team


The Proud Valiants visited Sparrows Lane on Thursday to meet the men's first-team.

As part of the club's inaugural Football v Homophobia week, the LGBQT+ supporters’ group delivered a presentation on equality within football to Dean Holden's squad.

The Addicks will be wearing t-shirts in support of the cause ahead of Saturday's game against Bolton Wanderers at The Valley.

Manager Dean Holden said: “We might be in the third tier in terms of where we are as a football team, but as a club we’re arguably in the top division in terms of the work that goes on in the community and behind the scenes. It’s brilliant and it’s really inspirational.

“The Proud Valiants have been in and done a 15-minute presentation to all the men’s first-team players and staff. They spoke to the women’s team last week as well which is important. When the players put that t-shirt on prior to the game and I wear the badge, it’s important that we know the story behind it.

“You can only imagine if your son or daughter that had been put in that position - going to games and hearing homophobic chanting and what that does to the person," Holden continued. "Honestly, it’s soul-destroying and it brings a tear to your eye. Fair play to them guys, they haven’t gone quiet; they’ve used their story to try to inspire others with this campaign and the club have been brilliant in that.

“There’s a lot of good work going on and it’s really important that everybody is well aware of the story behind it. The fact that there is one professional footballer in all of English football who has come out is really sad actually. We all know there is probably more than that and there is certainly more we can do to make it easier for people in society.

“The players can use their social media platforms to promote these types of things and if they do hear anything negative - such as homophobic chanting - it should be reported at the earliest opportunity to the police, the referee or myself to make sure that people are held accountable for their disgusting behaviour.

“It was a really positive chat," he added. "Two of the guys are going to come down and see me before the game on Saturday. We’ll have a cup of tea and chat in my office and then they can go into the stands and cheer the boys on.”

Read more about Charlton's Football v Homophobia week, in partnership with the University of Greenwich, Proud Valiants, Charlton Invicta and the club's Community Trust, here

Click here to purchase your tickets for Saturday's game against Bolton (12.30pm KO GMT).

Season-ticket holders can bring a friend or family member to this weekend’s game for free. Redeem your ticket here.


(Transcription by Alex Forrest)

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