Last night saw AFC Bournemouth host the first informal meeting with newly launched LGBT supporter group Proud Cherries.
Held at Vitality Stadium, over 60 people attended the event, with the Community Sports Trust providing tours of the ground.
Louise Clarke, founder of Proud Cherries, also announced Sophie Cook and Mark McAdam as patrons for the group.
Sky Sports reporter Mark proudly reminisced about his Boscombe upbringing and the community feel of his local football club, with Cherries captain Simon Francis then speaking about the Cherries’ camaraderie and togetherness.
In a highly emotional speech, Sophie then told her story about coming out as transgender after AFC Bournemouth won promotion to the Premier League at the Valley in 2015.
Following the evening, Di Cunningham, chair of Pride in Football, praised the group’s inception and commended the club’s backing and support.
“If all clubs were like AFC Bournemouth, homophobia in football would be sorted,” she said.
Proud Cherries were extremely pleased with the turnout at their first meet up, with Louise also speaking fondly of the occasion.
“I have high hopes for the group moving forward with its future plans and in making a positive impact in football,” she claimed.
“I would also like to thank all of our speakers and the club for their fantastic support.”
To find out more about Proud Cherries and how to get involved, email [email protected]