Express & Star

West Brom's Proud Baggies launch new LGBTQ+ football team

Albion inclusivity and diversity group Proud Baggies have launched a brand-new team in their name.

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Proud Baggies FC have claimed their launch is a 'ground-breaking collaboration that marks a significant milestone in fostering a welcoming platform for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies to engage in competitive football and cultivate a supportive community.'

The new team is a combination between the club, its Albion Foundation and Sandwell Council.

It aims to be competitive, too, and to secure a league position for the 2024/25 season. The team will train at Albion's academy site, opposite The Hawthorns, and wear the famous Baggies blue and white stripes.

The Proud Baggies arm of The Albion Foundation launched in 2017 and meet for weekly Friday night football sessions. The new side has been borne out of the demand of those involved.

Founder Pierro Zizzi said: “This has been a long-term ambition of ours. We’ve worked with the club to create a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ supporters at West Bromwich Albion and now, following the success of our weekly football sessions and the clear demand and need within Sandwell and the Black Country, we are delighted to be able to provide a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ people and allies to play football competitively and wear the stripes with pride in doing so.”

Rob Lake, who is director of The Albion Foundation, said: "Supporting Proud Baggies in establishing their own competitive team marks a pivotal moment in fostering inclusivity within the West Midlands' football landscape.

"It's inspiring to witness their commitment to creating opportunities for LGBTQ+ individuals to showcase their skills, further amplifying the message of acceptance and diversity. Proud Baggies' initiative aligns seamlessly with our mission at The Albion Foundation to promote equality and inclusivity in sports."

Anyone wishing to join Proud Baggies’ Friday night football sessions, join the competitive team or become a Proud Baggies’ member can get in touch via