A new LGBT friendly football team has been launched by Norwich City.

Eastern Daily Press: Di Cunningham of Proud Canaries. Picture Archant.Di Cunningham of Proud Canaries. Picture Archant. (Image: Archant)

The club has teamed up with Aviva and LGBT fan group Proud Canaries to establish the team and to celebrate the inclusive and diverse nature of football from the amateur level to the elite.

The new team, called Proud Canaries FC, is officially backed and fully supported by Norwich City Football Club and will wear the club’s colours and fly the Canary flag in a summer tournament.

As part of its commitment as the first main sponsor of the team, Aviva will provide the squad with brand-new Norwich City match kits as well as rainbow laces for all registered players to wear in their boots during matches.

The funding will also ensure the team can function until the end of the 2018/19 season.

Di Cunningham, who founded Proud Canaries in 2014, said of the new team: “Norwich City have been always been pioneers for inclusion – from revering the iconic Justin Fashanu to celebrating their LGBT+ fanbase.

“So it’s no surprise that they’re teaming up with Aviva to promote diversity and inclusion on the Carrow Road pitch.”

The recruitment process for players and a manager is now underway.

Once the team has been recruited, a series of training sessions will be arranged at the Colney training centre in preparation for an end of season LGBT-inclusive tournament, which will be played at Carrow Road in May.

The tournament will see the Proud Canaries face a number of other LGBT affiliated football club supporter groups, whose involvement will be announced over the coming months.

Steve Stone, Norwich City managing director, added: “It’s great to see that Di and Proud Canaries are launching Proud Canaries FC and we are very happy to be joining Aviva in officially supporting them and celebrating our shared aims of inclusivity and diversity.

“They are a great group, brilliant supporters of the club and we look forward to watching them in action at Carrow Road.”

• If you are interested in playing for or managing Proud Canaries FC contact Di Cunningham, Proud Canaries’ director of football, via di@proudcanaries.co.uk.