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Rainbow Laces Week

West Ham vs. Liverpool (4th November)

31st October 2017

As usual, we’ll be having a meet-up for members before the next home game. It’s a late kick-off, so we’ll be meeting from about 3:30pm onwards on Saturday 4th November, at the usual bar. If you haven’t already done so, join our matchday WhatsApp group (members, see your emails) If you’re joining us for the first time don’t forget to grab an exclusive, smart Pride of Irons badge from one of the committee members.
 
We’ll also be joined on the day by Ben Collier. He’s a filmmaker currently completing a Masters degree in documentary filmmaking at UCL, and has approached us to make a short film about Pride of Irons. As part of the filming he’s very interested in talking to some new Pride of Irons members so if anyone has recently joined the group or will be attending the matchday get-together this Saturday for the first time and wouldn’t mind speaking to Ben then it would be great. You don’t have to commit to anything so feel free to just send a casual email with general questions you might have to start. 
 
Additionally, Ben has stressed to all members that he’s fully aware that not everyone may want to be filmed / appear on camera so if you don’t want to be filmed then just let him or any of the POI committee members know and we will make sure that your wishes are respected.

See you Saturday.

COYI!

Joint Statement with West Ham United Regarding Brighton

19th October 2017

Pride of Irons - West Ham United’s official LGBT supporters group – have issued the following statement ahead of the Premier League encounter against Brighton and Hove Albion on Friday 20th October, fully endorsed by the club:

“This Friday we welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to East London for what will be our first meeting at London Stadium, and the Pride of Irons are excited to be part of an incredible and positive atmosphere.

"The West Ham family is an inclusive one where, regardless of gender, age, ability, race, religion or sexual orientation, everybody feels welcome and included, as our own LGBT fans do when supporting our club both home and away.

"After all, we Hammers may pride ourselves on our exuberant atmosphere, passionate support and unique east London humour, but none of these should ever cross the line into homophobia, sexism, racism or discrimination of any kind.

“So please do what you do best on Friday evening – support our team, our players, our club, with pride, passion and respect, and show that London Stadium is a place to celebrate everything that is great about football.”

Pride of Irons was founded in 2015 as the official LGBT supporters group for West Ham United fans. Our objective is to represent and campaign on behalf of LGBT fans with a goal of combatting homophobia in football and increasing opportunities for their members to express their active support of West Ham United. However, the only requirement for membership is that you support West Ham!

The group want LGBT football fans to know that West Ham United is an inclusive football club where anyone, regardless of gender, age, race or sexual orientation can feel welcome, included and enjoy being part of the West Ham family.

To become a member or simply to find out more about Pride of Irons, visit www.prideofirons.com or follow us via Facebook or Twitter (@prideofirons) 

West Ham Fan Video for Sky Sports

27th September 2017

We have been contacted by a production team making fan films about every Premier League club as part of a new TV show for Sky.

The film will be three to four minutes long and should be something interesting about the club that is likely to spark debate on the show.

The idea is that we give people who wouldn’t normally make films or have this kind of exposure, the chance to work with Sky to produce a great bit of content and to talk about issues or things around football. 

Naturally LGBT fans will be part of the focus, but we'd love to hear what is important to you and what kind of thing you would like to see in the film.

Please send your ideas back to us and we'll do our best to incorporate as much as possible into the film.

 

Meetups


Don't forget, members of the committee will be at the Podium Bar outside the stadium before matches, so please swing by, say hi and get to know your fellow members.
 

COME ON YOU IRONS! 

Welcome Back!

5th September 2017 

Welcome to the 2017/18 Season!
But we can't possibly talk about that before mentioning our closing event of the 2016/17 season that was London Pride!

The whole event was a roaring success with a significant West Ham presence including the truly amazing Hammerhead! That's right! West Ham's OFFICIAL mascot joined us on the day and he was so very nearly the star of the show. I say nearly, because that accolade had to be shared by 8 year-old Kenzie - son of POI member Ian. Kenzie and Hammerhead worked the crowd for all it was worth, getting opposite sides of the parade to compete in cheering contests and posing for selfies. The duo were unstoppable!

So...this season...

Where do we start? It's not been great on the pitch has it? But there's not a lot we can do to affect that. What we CAN affect is the kind of season we have as a group, so with that in mind, here's what we're planning:

Meet-Ups
We want to get to know more of you and to build a community between our members. With that in mind, we will be arranging not just events such as charity quizzes, Pride parade attendance etc, but more informal meet-ups. To do this we will be ensuring that there will be a committee member at a bar nearby the stadium (members, see your emails for details) before every game. So please swing by and grab a beer, G&T or whatever your poison is and come have a chat. 

As an added incentive, every member we meet will be given a Pride Of Irons badge (pictured below). We know the Rainbow is a distinctive LGBT symbol, but part of the reason we picked a logo without one is so that it only stands out to those in the know. So if you see someone with a badge, you know that they're also LGBT or an ally. We hope this will also help to build new friendships. Now I know I just said we picked a logo without the rainbow on purpose, but...more of that later...

What do you REALLY want?
Honestly? Tell us. Because we look at other groups and they all have their identities. Some are strongly focussed on activism and fighting for equality and inclusion. Some are more social. Each has their own identity, but what do you want Pride Of Irons to be? We'll be pulling together a survey to send out in the coming weeks, but if you could have a think before that comes out, that'd be great!

Pride Of Irons...stuff?
We've been messaged a few times about whether or not we have t-shirts and other bits and bobs available, but we're just not sure there's an appetite. POI was never set up to make a profit so if this is something people are interested in, we'll use an online facility that prints to order so it certainly won't be used as a money-maker. Let us know what you think.

Now, about that Rainbow...
You've probably seen other team grounds on the TV with rainbow banners for their LGBT groups. This is not something we have actively pursued previously, however we have been offered a space in the stadium by the club. Now this is not just an LGBT thing. All supporters groups can contribute, however to stand out as an LGBT group, there will be a rainbow element in there. Keep your eyes out around the stadium.


Okay, that's it for now folks! Hope to see you soon!


COME ON YOU IRONS!


Summer Quiz - 7PM Wednesday 28th June 2017

30th May 2017 

Join us for our summer quiz at:

Bangers Bar, Eldon House, 2 Wilson Street, London, EC2M 2TE.

Let us know you're coming by emailing: info@prideofirons.com

£5 per person, teams of 6-8 people.

All proceeds to be split between the Bobby Moore Fund and an LGBT Charity of your choice. To vote, click the link below:

https://goo.gl/forms/Fgncnddk8gGeYH4q1

Vote Now for Player of the Season!

30th May 2017 

Join our poll to crown the 2016/17 player of the season here:

https://goo.gl/forms/FDVQ7fhFqefOfol82

Feedback to the Club on the New Stadium

10th January 2017
As mentioned on the WHUFC website ( http://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2017/january/06-january/all-new-sab-meet ), the all-new SAB will meet for the first time on Tuesday 24th January 2017. 
Pride of Irons are proud to be represented on the SAB, so we invite our members to get in touch with the experiences, both good and bad, of match-days at the club. In particular, we’d be keen to hear about your overall match-day experience, as well as :
Public transport
Accessibility
Stewarding
Stadium catering
Pre and post-match entertainment. 
Any other issues that you feel strongly about, let us know.

Please send your feedback to our treasurer, Al Holmes, by Sunday 22nd January. Al can be contacted at prideofirons@alholmes.co.uk .

Alternatively, complete this online form: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdIWC8o6m...

Quiz Night

19th January 2017
@Bangers Bar - a short walk from Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations.

(See our events page)

Rainbow Laces

25th November 2016

Pride of Irons are proud supporters of the Stonewall Rainbow Laces campaign uniting sport to make sure no lesbian, gay, bi or trans people feel excluded from taking part as a fan or teammate.

This weekend’s Premier League fixtures, including West Ham’s game at Manchester United, will include a host of Rainbow Laces activities to encourage diversity and inclusivity at stadiums across the country.

Research conducted by Stonewall shows that 72% of football fans have heard anti-LGBT remarks at games over the last five years. One in five 18 to 24-year-olds say they’d be embarrassed if their favourite player came out.

Jim Dolan, founder of Pride of Irons, said “I think our club is amazing and the kind of club that supports the values that I hold dear. It’s sometimes not easy being a West Ham fan but we hold strong because it's in our blood. It's who we are. And as a club I hear it all the time about how we're a "West Ham Family". And I don't give my family members abuse for who they love. We're just West Ham fans, so treat us with the same respect as any other fan and we’ll do the same”

Alastair Holmes, Pride of Irons spokesman, said “We want lesbian and gay football fans to know that West Ham United are an inclusive club where anyone, regardless of gender, age, race or sexual orientation can feel welcome and included and enjoy being part of the West Ham family. We’re really pleased that the club and players are demonstrating their commitment, with the club’s crest on the Facebook site and Twitter feed also showing the rainbow colours and are looking forward to Mark Noble leading the team on Saturday wearing the rainbow captain’s armband to show his support.”

Notes:

  1. Pride of Irons was formed in 2015 as the official LGBT+ supporters group for West Ham United fans. Their objective is to represent and campaign on behalf of LGBT+ West Ham United supporters with a goal of combatting homophobia in football and increasing opportunities for their members to express their active support of West Ham United. Further details can be found on Facebook or Twitter (@prideofirons).
  2. Media contacts for enquiries: Alastair Holmes (al@alholmes.co.uk)