Millwall Romans get behind the 2022 Rainbow Laces campaign
The team, known as the Romans FC, was founded in 2016 and is open to all LGBTQ+ individuals, regardless of ability or experience.
Paul Loding is a member of Romans FC. Paul joined the team in after playing for a straight team in East London for a few years. Paul was appointed committee treasurer and took over as Roman’s manager in 2017. The Lions proudly have two extremely successful LGBTQI teams under their wing, with Millwall Romans and Millwall Pride both playing their football at St Paul's Sports Ground.
Conor McBrearty (London FA Disability and Inclusion Officer) discussed how the club have supported Rainbow Laces campaign in 2022:
"The club have been amazing in supporting the Rainbow Laces campaign in 2022 with Paul Loding joining our Football For All Panel event on the 26th October and then leading the Millwall Romans to winning the Football For All Cup on the 30th October at Leyton Orient," he said.
The Romans FC has been a huge success since joining forces with Millwall and has won numerous trophies and awards. In 2019, they were crowned “Team of the Year” at the Pride in Football Awards.
The future looks bright for both Millwall and the Romans FC. The club is continuing its commitment to inclusivity and working closely with the local authority to redevelop their training ground into a community hub that will be open to all.
Romans player Max said: "Since joining Millwall Romans I have noticed a major change in my life, I feel a lot more confident, made great friends and memories, as well as living a healthier lifestyle.
"As a transgender man who hadn't played football in nearly 10 years I was so happy to finally see a safe space where people who identify as LGBTQ+ can come and play football together. As a life long Millwall supporter this was something I had to be apart of.
"These spaces are so important for the community as there is still alot of discrimination about LGBTQ+ people in sport."
Team mate Maf added: "Being an LGBTQ+ friendly team, Romans are welcoming of all backgrounds regardless of race, religion, age or sexuality. Last year, Millwall put together a gift box for its Muslim players during the month of Ramadan to encourage them to stay hydrated and keep fit during a time where player could feel less energised.
"This has shown a real change in the way Millwall encourages a diverse team and outlook."
How to Join
If you want to join the Romans, or just watch, they meet every Wednesday evening from 7:30 to 9:00 pm.
You will find them at St Paul’s Sports Ground, Salter Rd, Rotherhithe, SE16 5DS.