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Proud Canaries are set to help tackle homophobia in football

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 February 2014

Proud Canaries with their banner. Left to right: Jules Bremner, Di Cunningham, Nick O'Brien and Michelle Savage. Photograph by Stevie Read.

Proud Canaries with their banner. Left to right: Jules Bremner, Di Cunningham, Nick O'Brien and Michelle Savage. Photograph by Stevie Read.

Stevie Read

The niece of Norwich City star Justin Fashanu – the only professional footballer to have come out as gay while still playing – will be at Carrow Road tomorrow to mark the launch of a new lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender supporters’ group.

Proud Canaries will be officially launched at half time of the Premier League clash against Tottenham, with representatives going onto the pitch with a new banner.

The group is only the second officially recognised LGBT supporters’ group in the country (the first was Arsenal’s Gay Gooners) and has already clinched the signing of Norwich City director Stephen Fry as its honorary president.

Amal Fashanu, niece of the ex-Canaries striker, whose goal against Liverpool in 1980 remains one of the best ever seen at Carrow Road, has agreed to become a patron for the group.

She said: “I am extremely honoured and excited about this important role I am being given. I feel like Justin would be grinning from ear to ear. This has made me and my whole family very happy.

“I feel that every day we are closer to creating a prejudice-free game, where no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you believe in, you are treated with respect and honour.”

Proud Canaries founder member Jules Bremner said: “We’ve been warmly welcomed by Norwich City and chief executive David McNally.NCFC is fully committed to driving discrimination and hatred from the stands.”

Joe Ferrari, Norwich City head of media, said the club was delighted to be welcoming Proud Canaries to Carrow Road. He said: “The club is committed to combatting all forms of discrimination in the game, including homophobia.

“Justin’s struggle against homophobia, before his tragic and untimely death in 1998, serves as an inspiration to those working to eradicate it today and we are delighted to also welcome back his niece Amal to Carrow Road on Sunday as she takes up her role as a figurehead of Proud Canaries.

“With our director, Stephen Fry, also agreeing to become honorary president of their group, Proud Canaries clearly have the full support of Norwich City Football Club and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”

Have you formed a Norwich City supporters club? Email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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