Rob Harris, Charlton Athletic Football Club, Charlton Invicta Football Club all won in their own respective categories at the FvH 2021 Awards.
Representatives of the CAFC family won in all three categories that they were nominated in with the club winning the Professional Club Award, LGBT+ inclusive side Invicta winning Grassroots Club of the Year and Proud Valiants founder & Chair Rob Harris being crowned FvH Hero. Proud Valiants Committee member & Charlton Invicta player-manager Gary Ginnaw was also nominated for the latter award.
This success follows the Football v Homophobia launch, hosted by Charlton Athletic, last weekend.
Harris founded the official Charlton Athletic LGBT+ supporters group, Proud Valiants, and has won the award after being nominated for the second year in a row.
Rob Harris: "It’s such an honour to receive this award, considering my fellow amazing nominees. Thanks also to the Club, the Trust, the wider Charlton Family, my partner Simon but above all this is as much for every member of the Proud Valiants they make me laugh, cry and as a group fully supported.
Being called a ‘hero' seems strange in a period where we have seen so many real heroes not only in the NHS, but in supermarkets, Surgeries, postmen, Rubbish and recycling collectors and so many other fields, including the backroom who keep football going. We all do what we do for the love of the football and for combatting all forms of prejudice in the beautiful game.
As we enter our history month, and the month of action, we need to remember the shoulders we stand upon - the activists that battled for us to be able to be who we are. This said - recent events have shown how much further the fight for acceptance has to go ! We truly need to unite as one force and look forward to the future of where we can all take the game!!"
The club hosted a successful launch of the Football v Homophobia Month of Action last weekend, and this weekend found itself the recipient of the reward for their work with the Proud Valiants, as well as Charlton Invicta and their continued commitment to leading the way in inclusion in football.
Charlton Owner, Thomas Sandgaard: “I am delighted we have won this award, it is a credit to the work the club and our fans do. The club has a proud history of inclusion and fighting in equality, which is important, as football should be a safe and welcoming place for everyone.”
The first LGBT+ inclusive side to be officially affiliated with a professional club and community trust, beat out strong competition from Deeside Dragons Girls FC & Village Manchester FC to bring home the award for the CAFC family.
Sam Timms of Charlton Invicta: “We are in a part of London, a part of UK, where liberal views are harder to find. Yet we are creating this bubble, this network where people feel accepted and welcomed.”