This free event will take place both in-person and online
This will be a panel discussion, with the current chair bringing together six panellists and their various perspectives on the club's 30-year journey: a success story of football, passion and fighting homophobia.
During the event we will ask the following questions:
Why have a gay/LGBTQ football club?
What motivates people to join?
How has the club changed and developed over the last 30 years?
How have we dealt with institutionalised homophobia in sports and sport media?
What does the future look like for Stonewall FC?
About Stonewall FC
Stonewall FC was established in February 1991 in London, when one of our founding members placed an advert in a gay publication, asking if like-minded people wanted to play competitive football.
Thirty years on from that first season in the Sportsmans Senior Sunday Football League, we have grown in membership now fielding three competitive 11-a-side football teams and offering regular training and recreational 5-a-side football. We have recently kicked off our first women and non-binary team to continue our mission to provide a safe football space for all.
Throughout this journey, the club have also gone on to achieve a number of international tournament successes, becoming the most successful LGBTQ+ football club in the world – winning an unprecedented 4 Gay Games gold medals between 2002 and 2014.
One thing that hasn’t changed since the club’s inception, is our commitment to creating a footballing environment where people can be comfortable in their own skin to facilitate their best sporting self.
Through this ambition, we are proud to have been a driving force in helping tackle discrimination within the game and intend to continue to spearhead the fight against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia in football.
Regardless of age, race, gender, gender identify, sexual identity, sexual orientation or religion, Stonewall FC will continue to be a safe space for anyone who wishes to get involved with football.
Meet the Speakers
Alex is the current Chair of Stonewall FC, a position he has held since 2018.
Having come out in mid-twenties, he joined the club in 2010 as a means of making LGBT friends. He played primarily at 5-a-side and for the Unity team, and has represented the club at the Eurogames.
Since 2013 he has focused on refereeing, and currently referees semi-professional (non-league) football in England as well at inclusive tournaments internationally.
He is a board member of the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association, a member of the governance board for BT Sport United and a member of an FA-appointed working group to help improve diversity and inclusion in the refereeing pathway.
My name is Betty and my pronouns are she/her. I’ve been playing football for 20+ years with teams ranging from Leamington, Bournemouth to Port Vale Ladies to name a few.
I decided to delve into the coaching world in 2017 after noticing a lack of black female coaches throughout my playing career.
Inclusivity and representation is massive to me. I’m always attracted to places where differences are accepted and celebrated hence why I was instantly drawn to Stonewall FC. I joined the club this year to manage the first Women and Non-Binary team.
A lifetime of happy memories and friendships – Paul joined Stonewall FC in 1991 – making his debut as a substitute in the club’s fifth ever competitive game, coming on at half-time, scoring a hat-trick and helping the club win their first league game 5-2 against Marylebone FC.
Paul’s love affair with the club started and led him to be top-scorer, captain, manager and committee member. His proudest moment was lifting the IGLFA World cup in 1995 in Berlin – the first trophy in the club history.
Paul competed in international tours from 1992 to 2004 – winning another world cup in Cologne in 2000 and a Gay Games gold medal in Sydney in 2002.
Paul met his husband, David, in 1996. David was the second team player-manager at the time. They have been together ever since and got married in 2016.
Stonewall FC also provided Paul with some other memorable moments from singing a tour song with Boy George on “Gaytime TV” to being felt by Jonathon Ross on “Feel the Sportsman” on “They think it’s all over” and lifting the Premier League Trophy with Chris Evans on “TFI Friday”.
Nige joined Stonewall in 1991 for the friendly kick about in Wandsworth Common and made the odd cameo appearance from the bench. As the club grew he represented the 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams up until around 1996. Nige also served on the committee.
During his time at Stonewall, Nige was renowned for burning the candle at both ends and was christened "Space Cadet". His proudest moment was receiving a medal in 1995 as Stonewall lifted their first major trophy at the World Cup in Berlin.
Nige also played for Vorspiel SSL Berlin eVBerlin in Washington DC 1997 and Village Manchester (1996 to 1999). Other memorable highlights included bumping into Richard Fairbrass (Right Said Fred) whilst queuing for a sauna at the Gay Games Amsterdam 1998, and being interviewed the following day for an edition of Gay Time TV, organising a friendly match against the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at London Winter Pride which descended into chaos and a rugby style pile-up, and scoring the goal of the tournament in Washington DC 1997.
Nige was outed to his employees at Coca Cola in 1998 after coverage and a photo appeared in the Manchester Evening News whilst playing for Village Manchester FC;
Nowadays Nige indulges in his lifelong support for Crystal Palace, belongs to the club's LGBT fan group (Proud and Palace) and is slightly obsessive about Fantasy Premier League.
Aslie Pitter MBE
Aslie Pitter joined Stonewall FC in its inaugural season. He is currently the club’s longest serving player. Aslie has played in over twenty-two international tournaments, including five Gay Games – from New York in 1994 to Paris in 2018.
Aslie was also player/manager of the reserve side for a number of seasons.
Aslie, born in 1960, grew up in Balham – his parents, Evelyn and Vincent were Jamaican immigrants. Aslie played for a number of amateur clubs as a child and teenager, playing for Sutton United Youth team and having a trial with Wimbledon FC.
In 2011, Aslie was awarded an MBE for voluntary services to Stonewall FC and has since given many lectures at university campuses, schools and colleges on the topic of discrimination in all its forms.
He also received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of East London in 2011.
Aslie is now playing in his 30th season for the club and keeps scoring goals at both 5-a-side and on the Sunday pitches.
Originally from Deal, Kent, Alec moved to London in 1997 and joined the club that year. Alec has been a member ever since.
In his playing days, he participated in 15 International Tournaments collecting a variety of medals, including a League Winner's Medal in 2003. His best tour was in Fort Lauderdale in 1999, winning a silver medal, scoring 6 goals and receiving the golden boots award.
In 2013, Alec joined the Committee and became Club Secretary in 2015. He started being involved in documenting and collecting the club's history.
Since 1999, Alec has made over 200 films of Stonewall FC in their Leagues, IGLFA World Cups, Eurogames, Gay Games and many events from the Stonewall Diversity Champions awards at the V&A, to games at the Emirates stadium and our iconic moment at Wembley in 2018.
Alec’s love and dedication for the club remains extremely strong 24 years since joining : “The banter, the camaraderie of this trailblazing football club, especially on the tours has been so addictive, and remember, 'what goes on tour, stays on tour'.”
Raphael moved to London from France in 2000 and join Stonewall FC to enjoy his football in a LGBT environment. Raphael played in France for several straight clubs since the age of 7.
With Stonewall FC, Raphael won many trophies as a player, including a league winner medal in 2003, a domestic cup in 2004, and 3 Gay Games gold medals (2010, 2014 and 2018). As manager of the second team (2012-2015), Raphael won their only domestic cup to date.
Raphael has been on the committee of Stonewall FC for over 12 years and has been involved in many aspects of the club over this period – from team management to club merchandising, crowdfunding, history projects. Raphael is the Covid Officer of the club.
Raphael is married and lives with his husband, Martin Brophy MBE, in London and Brighton.
Following his graduation in 2015, James moved to London and was a looking for a new football club to join.
After some online research he came across Stonewall FC and decided to attend a pre-season training session and subsequently signed for the club that season.
Over the past six seasons James has played for the clubs first team and occasionally for the Unity team on a Sunday.
The club offered him so much from a sporting and social perspective that in 2019 he decided to join the committee in the capacity of Social Secretary.
In my time at the club, James has played (and won!) a league game at Wembley, scored a tremendous volley at Old Trafford and run events for the club and the wider LGBT community.
Need to Know
- 19:00 (doors open 18:45)
- Bishopsgate Institute