Manchester City began its Pride celebrations with the annual raising of the Pride flag at the Etihad Stadium, welcoming representatives of the LGBT+ community from across Manchester to attend.
Mark Fletcher, CEO of Manchester Pride, Carl Austin-Behan, LGBT advisor to the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Kevin Parker, General Secretary of the Official Supporters’ Club and David Alvarado, Chair of Canal Street Blues joined members of the Official Supporters Clubs, Club legends Paul Dickov and Alex Williams, and Manchester City staff to celebrate the start of Pride.
Kit partner PUMA has also teamed up with Manchester Metropolitan University to design a bespoke Manchester City kit that will be on sale throughout the season. Students competed to design this limited-edition kit that will allow fans to showcase both their support for Pride and the Club through a unique new design.
The design features flags from the LGBT+ community, alongside the City badge and the wording ‘Together We Stand’ taken from a popular fan chant. The ‘Football V Homophobia’ logo is also on the shirt – an organisation that Manchester City and PUMA are proud to support.
Manchester City, alongside Canal Street Blues, will also be at Pride with a City bus and Club mascots in the parade, alongside giveaways to be won throughout the day.
Working with the Canal Street Blues to celebrate Pride forms part of the long-standing relationship between Manchester City and the Official Supporters’ Club, and a continued commitment to sharing the values of the city.
Omar Berrada, Manchester City chief operating officer, commented: “Manchester Pride is one of the biggest, most welcoming and inclusive events of the year, and Manchester City is delighted to support our LGBT+ fans as we celebrate together. This year is particularly special as we are excited to unveil the new Pride kit that our partner PUMA has been designing alongside local students.
“We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with all our fans and stakeholders throughout the season to promote inclusivity in our stadiums and beyond. We hope all those attending this weekend’s celebrations enjoy a fun and safe Pride.”
Mark Fletcher, CEO, Manchester Pride, said: “Every year we are so proud to work with Manchester City.
"They are one of the region’s most inclusive organisations and I'm always impressed by the support that they provide to LGBT+ people working at and supporting the club.
"The raising of the rainbow flag at the club is an important moment for me each year in the run up to Manchester Pride Festival as it reminds me what a difference such a proactive and positive organisation can make to the lives of LGBT+ people.”