Canal Street Blues
Canal Street Blues are an official branch of the Manchester City Supporters Club, established in January 2014 for LGBT fans of Manchester City Football Club to socialise before/during/after matches, attend home and away matches as a group, and to work with Manchester City Football Club and other bodies on LGBT footballing issues.
If you’re interested in becoming an official member then click the Membership button.
Manchester, UK. 26 August 2016
Canal Street Blues kicks off Manchester Pride’s The Big Weekend 2016 with help from Manchester City Football Club and the Lord Mayor of Manchester
Canal Street Blues is a supporters’ club established in 2014 for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender
and other sexual/gender minorities) fans of Manchester City Football Club, and will kickoff The Big Weekend
celebrations with a series of special events to make this Manchester Pride’s best event ever!
Starting on Friday 26 August at 12pm, the Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Carl Austin Behan, will
join representatives of Canal Street Blues, Manchester City Football Club, Manchester City Supporters’ Club,
Football vs Homophobia, Manchester Pride and Village Manchester FC to raise the rainbow flag at the Etihad
Stadium over The Big Weekend bank holiday, signalling the start of several events to show that football is an
inclusive sport for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
On Saturday 27 August at 1pm, football rivalries will be put aside for a few hours as Canal Street
Blues will be joined by the Manchester City Football Club mascots Moonchester and Moonbeam and the
Capital One Cup in their open top bus, to lead a large group of other LGBT+ football fan groups through
the streets of Manchester in the annual Manchester Pride Parade.
Then on Sunday 28 August, Manchester City play West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium, and Canal
Street Blues welcomes fans from the Pride Of Irons (West Ham United’s official LGBT+ Supporters’
Group) to the game. During the match, supportive messages on the screens in and around the stadium
will be shown wishing all fans a wonderful Manchester Pride!
Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Carl Austin Behan said:
“We’ve already got the Pride Flag flying high over the town hall and it’s fantastic to see it
hoisted at a number locations around Manchester welcoming visitors to the city. Manchester
has a proud history of acceptance and diversity and I’m an extremely proud Mancunian. I’m
delighted that the people of Manchester will once again be welcoming and partying with
thousands of visitors over the weekend to celebrate the identity,values and rights of the
worldwide LGBTQ community.
“Manchester Pride always promises an unbelievable weekend of fun, solidarity and
celebration. During last years celebrations I got married to my husband Simon, so the
weekend also marks my wedding anniversary, meaning there’s even more cause to celebrate
John Browne, Chair of Canal Street Blues has nothing but praise for the work undertaken by Manchester
City to include the LGBT+ community:
“Being a gay fan of Manchester City FC is such a positive experience. We’re once more
raising a flag for Manchester Pride at the Etihad stadium, and in February this year the club
let us use the Etihad stadium to launch the Football v Homophobia month of action campaign,
amongst other initiatives. At Canal Street Blues we’re looking forward to a great season of
football from a club we know really values its LGBT+ supporters”
Supporting the initiative is Kevin Parker, General Secretary of Manchester City Supporters Club, the
MCFC fans’ organisation with over 170 branches and over fifteen thousand members worldwide:
“We’re delighted once more that our club is acknowledging Manchester Pride in this way.
Raising a rainbow flag is a real gesture of inclusion. If it shows even one fan struggling with
their sexuality or gender identity that it’s OK to be LGBT+, that’s a huge impact.”
Lou Engerfield from Football vs Homophobia acknowledges the support that Manchester City have given
to work towards eradicating homophobia from football:
“Manchester City has been at the forefront of the campaign to tackle homophobia in football
and has taken action to support Football v Homophobia over a number of seasons. Activities
for Manchester Pride are one part of a yearround commitment to LGBT inclusion at the club
and underpin Manchester City’s message of welcome to their LGBT fans and the wider
Mike Green, Head of City in the Community, the club’s Community Foundation explains:
“With Manchester Pride and both our men’s and women’s team in action this weekend, it’s
certainly a weekend to celebrate. Manchester City is committed to promoting equality of
opportunity, diversity and respect across all its activity. From the programmes we deliver
every day in the community to the way the Club operates, we continue to ensure equality is
embedded within the heart of the Club.”
Mark Fletcher, Chief Executive of Manchester Pride adds:
“It’s brilliant to see the rainbow flag being raised over the Etihad stadium. As one of the
biggest clubs in world football, it sends a strong message of support from Manchester City to
LGBT players and fans in Greater Manchester and around the world!”
Finally, Chair John Bridges reflected on Village Manchester FC’s 20th anniversary in 2016.
“Members have been campaigning against homophobia in football by playing in local leagues
every weekend and taking part in national and international tournaments out and proud
across the world . We appreciate and value our strong relationship and the support of MCFC
and welcome Canal Street Blues Fan Group as partners. We are delighted that they are
involved in gay and inclusive football and their participation in Manchester Pride.”
Visit www.canalstreetblues.co.uk or www.twitter.com/canalstblues for more information, or to contact
Canal Street Blues use the link above