Wins for Scotland at the Football v Homophobia Awards 2024

13th March 2024

Wins for Scotland at the Football v Homophobia Awards 2024

What a night it was for Scotland at the 2024 Football v Homophobia Awards! In only the second year of the Scotland Award category, we saw Scottish shortlisters in three other categories as well: the Grassroots Club Award, the Women’s Game Award and the Media Award. And there was one very special surprise winner from Scotland too. You can read a full round-up of all the FvH awards here.

Competition for the Scotland Award was tough, with three excellent shortlisters from various areas of the game. Queer supporters were represented through Ibrox Pride’s nomination; LGBTQIA+ media coverage got a nod, with a nomination for STV’s Ronnie Charters; and the final nomination was for a grassroots team, Gender Goals FC. It’s hard to compare this diverse selection and FvH Scotland is so proud of the work all three shortlisters have been doing over the past year.

The Scotland Award was presented by Ross McGowan from the Scottish FA. On stage, Ross was invited to tell the audience about his own Glasgow-based club, Saltire Thistle FC, who play in the Gay Football Supporter's Network. Ross summed up the inclusive ethos of the club on the night: ‘I love Saltire Thistle, the environment that we’ve created is fantastic [...] It’s just great to see we cater for all abilities, no matter who you are or what you’re about.’

Third Place was taken by Ibrox Pride, who have patiently and proactively worked with Rangers to ensure LGBTIQ+ fans feel more welcome both inside and outside of the stadium.

Coming in second was Ronnie Charters, whose contributions to the flagship News at Six programme - watched by around half a million people - and to the Expert Voices initiative make him a worthy runner-up. Ronnie’s work platforming under-represented voices on Scottish television also earned him a Second Place trophy in the Media Award category, which was sponsored by The Football Writers’ Association.

(Photo Credit: Gordon Marino)

And that means this year’s Scotland Award was won by the wonderful Gender Goals FC, Scotland’s first ever trans and non-binary football team. This trailblazing club started as a Trans Active Glasgow introduction to football programme, and now trains weekly and competes in both 5s and 7s leagues. Nominations for Gender Goals highlighted the sense of belonging and confidence that comes from the club’s life-affirming ethos. In her onstage speech the club's founder, Jasmine Angove, closed with a simple yet undeniable statement: ‘Trans people deserve to play football!’

Jasmine, who plays in the SWFL for Edinburgh Uni Thistle, also scooped up Third Place against some very strong contenders in the Women’s Game Award, sponsored by Sky Sports.

But that wasn’t the end of our Scottish celebrations. Glasgow Saints FC were awarded Second Place in the Grassroots Club Award, sponsored by the Wythenshawe Forum Trust and Manchester Active. The club were shortlisted in recognition of their strong LGBTIQ+ representation at all levels, as well as their inclusion work with refugees and asylum seekers, on foodbanks, and in the wider community.

Before we knew it, we’d come to the final award of the night: Outstanding Contribution. This special acknowledgement of outstanding work done to champion LGBTQIA+ people in football is selected by the whole Football v Homophobia judging panel. We were delighted to see Scotland’s own Zander Murray announced as this year’s winner!

Zander is still the only male Scottish footballer to have come out as gay, which he did in September 2022. After a big impact in March last year from his BBC Scotland documentary, Disclosure: Out on the Pitch, Zander has been an amazing ambassador and educator.

This honour was awarded in association with PFA Scotland by Zander’s friend, Lloyd Wilson - a man used to the FvH stage himself, having won the Scotland Award last year for his work as a referee. Lloyd was accompanied by video tributes from the Scotland Women’s Team captain, Rachel Corsie, and TIE campaign’s Liam Stevenson. In an emotional speech, Zander expressed gratitude for his teammates, friends, colleagues and the Football v Homophobia team, before finishing by saying: ‘last wee thing, from an incredible lass at Hibees Pride: football’s a beautiful game and it deserves to be beautiful for everyone [...] ‘til my last breath I will fight for our community to make that happen.’

You can watch more highlights from Zander's speech, which was received with a standing ovation by the whole audience, here.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Football v Homophobia Scotland (@fvhscot)

Written on 13th March 2024.