'One Love Live' event takes place at Old Trafford

Tuesday 05 December 2023 22:20

Manchester United and adidas joined forces at Old Trafford on Tuesday night to deliver a live event highlighting total support for LGBTQ+ inclusion in football and driving the conversation forward on allyship and action.

One Love Live, hosted by Hayley McQueen, daughter of the late, great Red’s defender Gordon McQueen, featured an exclusive screening of the latest One Love episode focusing on the club’s Official LGBTQ+ Supporters Club Rainbow Devils.

A panel of high-profile guests from the sporting and entertainment LGBTQ+ community – including Olympian Mark Foster, Coronation Street Actor Antony Cotton and football journalist Adam Crafton - also discussed inclusivity and the action football fans can take to be better allies.

The event took place on the eve of the Premier League clash at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Chelsea where staff, players and fans will show their support for Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign and celebrate LGBTQ+ inclusion in football.

The event was hosted by friend of the club Hayley McQueen.
Also, on show against Chelsea on Wednesday will be the ever present LGBTQ+ supporters’ club, Rainbow Devils, banner which has been providing a highly visible symbol of support for our LGBTQ+ fans around the world since becoming a permanent feature at Old Trafford in 2021.

Ahead of last season’s fixture against Chelsea in May Manchester United worked with Rainbow Devils to educate fans on the ‘rent boys’ chant – which is often heard in games featuring Chelsea - and why it is not only offensive to Chelsea fans and players, but also United supporters, allies and other supporters within the LGBTQ+ community.

The discussion during the event focused on the strides football has taken to be a more inclusive environment, and also ways to better promote inclusivity and diversity among fans as well as educating supporters on the impact of homophobic abuse.
Speaking as part of the panel, Eric Najib, Chair of the Rainbow Devils, said: “I am immensely proud of the feeling of inclusivity among United supporters. I am also proud of how far football has come in the past 10 or 20 years, but let’s not get complacent or think that there isn’t more to do. 

“This season alone there have been high profile incidents of homophobia at Premier League grounds, and this is never acceptable. Education is key. We've got to think about our young fans as well. We want them to grow up in a world where we are all equal and I think when supporters engage in offensive chants it makes some of our fan base who are here to cheer on the team feel uncomfortable and not part of it.

“Events like tonight that drive the conversation to uncomfortable places and provoke action and change are so important to continuing to make sure our game is open is for everyone.”
A panel of guests from the sporting and entertainment LGBTQ+ community spoke on stage.
Ellie Norman, Chief Communications Officer at Manchester United, said: “We are extremely proud of our fantastic fan groups and the diverse nature of our support.

“Throughout the world our fans are recognised for the love they show for the team and the club, and, as always, we know our fans will take responsibility and be a visible ally to help make football an inclusive environment for all.”