Charlton Athletic’s first team won’t be the only members of the Charlton family representing the Addicks in Bristol this weekend.
Charlton Invicta, who in 2017 became the first club, trust-affiliated LGBTQI+ friendly football team, are heading west to cheer on their fellow Addicks this weekend before they take on Bristol City Panthers, who recently became the second club, trust-affiliated LGBTQI+ friendly football team.
Ahead of this weekend’s trip, we spoke to Invicta striker Samuel Timms. He said: "We are both ecstatic because these two clubs are the first to be affiliated with a Sunday league team, focusing around equality and the issues surrounding LGBT in football and making football more inclusive.
"We have done really well as a team in friendlies, we have won all our friendly games. The team are feeling really positive, they can’t wait. We are taking the whole weekend as a trip away as a lot of the players have never been to an away game.”
The team will be joining the Bristol Rovers Community Trust on Saturday when Charlton take on the Pirates, Timms said: “Honestly I am thrilled, I can’t wait because I hear the Memorial Stadium is a really iconic stadium. We are really excited for the game. The whole team are looking forward to an away day. We like going away because like all football teams at whatever level it is a great opportunity for team mates to bond and build friendships.”
Timms added: “it has been amazing, I genuinely believe that we are the most privileged Sunday league team in the country, without a doubt. What we can have is an environment that is safe and engaging for every single member of our team.”
Charlton Invicta are working with Charlton Athletic Community Trust to build more inclusivity into football: “We are far more than a team because we get given the platform to show that football is for everybody and that everyone is welcome. To have an LGBT team play and train where professional players train and practice is excellent.”
Timms was confident of another three points for Charltion on Saturday: “A prediction from me is it will be 3-0 to Charlton. I think they will get an early goal and kick on from there.”
Charlton Invicta will play Bristol City Panthers on Sunday.
Article by Harry Arnold