It’s all happening at Bellevue FC, Wrexham newest and most groundbreaking football club! Bellevue FC is nationally recognised as a leader in equality, diversity and inclusion. This recognition stems from their work in vulnerable communities with people from perceived adverse backgrounds. It is the first award-winning, league registered, multi-ethnic and inclusion specific football team in Wales.
Sophie Cook – Honorary VP
The club has recently offered Dr Sophie Cook an honorary Vice-President position in the club. Sophie’s appointment comes ahead of the launch of their new season kit in collaboration with Football v Homophobia.
A Passionate Speaker
Dr Sophie Cook FRSA became the first transgender woman to work in football’s Premier League. Following her transition in 2015, she became club photographer for AFC Bournemouth. Dr Cook has gone on to be a passionate speaker about diversity and inclusion. She has also fought to break the stigma around mental health and suicide.
Europe’s first trans TV newscaster, Sophie has hosted her own TV and radio chat shows. She is a former Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate, RAF veteran, writer and speaker. Not to mention, a broadcaster, photographer, self-harm and suicide survivor and transgender activist. Sophie is a leading face in all-inclusive football. Most recently, Dr Cook received the Outstanding Contributions to LGBT+ Life Award at the British LGBT Awards.
Delwyn Derrick is the founder of Bellevue FC. He said “It is an honour for Bellevue Football Club to announce Dr Sophie Cook as our honorary Vice-President. Sophie has been a great support to us and is an inspiring person in her own right.
Football: The Universal Language
“We had hoped to offer this role in person when she planned to visit the club earlier this year. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, that meeting never happened. However, with new football kits ready for release we decided to ask the question anyway.
Sophie said “I have always believed that football, the universal language – beloved and understood the world over – has a unique opportunity to bring disparate people together. Whoever you are and whatever your race, religion, sexuality or gender identity, you can connect with your fellow man through our shared love of the game.
The club continues to work alongside Offa Community Council and AVOW on community events throughout the year. Furthermore, they are one of the main partners of the Wrexham Community Cup and the associated Arfon Jones Trophy.
New Season Kit
Bellevue FC have released their new season kit representing marginalised voices across the community. Top Mark Uniform have designed the new kits in a unique partnership with Football vs Homophobia.
Unique and Eye-Catching
The men’s and women’s teams will now play in a home kit of white shirts with rainbow pinstripes. The striking away kit features a rainbow camouflage print.
A representative from Bellevue FC said “The new kits will be a unique and eye-catching addition to Welsh football. We think they’re a great follow-up to last season’s rainbow numbers.
“Even though we are still waiting for the return of football in Wales, we didn’t want to wait any longer to make these announcements. Whether we play this season or not, these are things we can be proud of in 2020. We have seen LGBTQ+ hate crime increase again this year. Accordingly, this is still a message that we still need to represent in our community. We are thrilled to be teaming up with Football vs Homophobia to continue sending this crucial message of hope.”
Keeping the Kits Modern
Wrexham business Top Mark Uniforms have designed and produced the kits. This collaboration is between the club’s community and inclusion ethos and the design department at the company.
Andy McHugh, Director of Top Mark Uniforms, said “We’ve had the privilege of working with the guys and girls of Bellevue FC for the last three years now. When they approached us this year for a new kit, we were only too happy to help again. We wanted to keep the kits modern. Consequently, we added a dipped hem to the rear and a double cuff on the hem on the sleeves.
“The home shirt final design incorporated the club’s colours. The white shirt and black shorts are representative of the mixed races who are part of the club. The pinstripes reflect the LGBTQ community colours.
“We had a bit of free reign on the away shirt final design. We came up with the full camo shirt in, ironically, the brightest LGBTQ colours possible. The idea behind this is that everybody associates camo with the army and with being hidden. We wanted to flip this and so we made it as bright as possible. We believe that nobody should have to hide their race, gender, religion or nationality.”
Bellevue Football Club – Overview
Bellevue Football Club was first founded in 2016 at Bellevue Park in Wrexham, North Wales. They are the first league-registered, multi-ethnic and inclusion-specific football team in Wales.
Their ethos is to encourage community cohesion, including working alongside Football vs Homophobia, Show Racism the Red Card, North Wales Police, and Football Association of Wales Trust.
The club continues to work alongside Offa Community Council and AVOW on community events throughout the year, including being one of the main partners of the Wrexham Community Cup and the associated Arfon Jones Trophy.
Bellevue FC have won several awards: The Football Association of Wales Grassroots, Football vs. Homophobia Cymru Grassroots and many more. Owner Delwyn Derrick has won numerous awards for his volunteer work with the club, including BBC Wales’ Get Inspired Unsung Hero 2019, Wrexham Sports Award Volunteer of the Year Award and Offa Citizen of the Year 2019.
Further information from Bellevue FC is available here.
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