Proud Canaries Cup hailed a huge success

Proud Canaries FC hosted the inaugural tournament at Carrow Road. Picture: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Proud Canaries FC hosted the inaugural tournament at Carrow Road. Picture: Phil Mingo/PPAUK - Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Norwich City, Proud Canaries FC and Aviva have hailed the huge success of the inaugural Proud Canaries Cup at Carrow Road.

Proud Canaries FC - the team formed by Proud Canaries, Aviva and Norwich City - competed against a number of other LGBT-inclusive teams in a round-robin tournament, as part of Aviva's campaign to celebrate the inclusive and diverse nature of football from the amateur level to the elite.

The hosts faced travelling sides from Stonewall FC, Charlton Invicta, London Titans, London Phoenix, Birmingham Blaze, Brighton BLAGGS and Trowbridge Tigers.

Birmingham Blaze ran out eventual winners in a closely-fought final against Stonewall FC.

As well as the ten teams, Amal Fashanu, the niece of Norwich City's former striker Justin, was among those watching the action.

The event was particularly poignant as it took place just three days after the 20th anniversary of her uncle's death.

'Congratulations to everybody at Proud Canaries FC and all the LGBT-affiliated football club supporter groups involved in the inaugural Proud Canaries Cup which took place at Carrow Road on Saturday,' said a City spokesperson. 'We are absolutely delighted to join Aviva in officially supporting Proud Canaries FC and it's great to see them proudly wearing the club's colours and flying the rainbow flag on the pitch to celebrate inclusivity and diversity.

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'It was great to welcome back Amal Fashanu, three days after the 20th anniversary of her uncle and our legendary striker Justin Fashanu's death.'

Amal Fashanu added: 'I think the Proud Canaries Cup is a great initiative.

'Having Aviva and Norwich City come together with Proud Canaries and pull off an event like this is amazing to see and be a small part of.

'My uncle Justin would be extremely proud of the place we've got to so far.

'People are talking about homophobia and racism in football, and right now I don't think I could have imagined something better.'

The tournament, arranged by Aviva, Norwich City's Community partner following nine years as the main sponsor, not only aimed to celebrate the inclusive ethos in football which LGBT-inclusive teams embody and promote, but recognise the significant value they bring to their local communities.

'The establishment of the Proud Canaries Cup is extremely welcome and a moment to celebrate,' said Tom Daniell, Aviva UK marketing director. 'It was brilliant to see so many LGBT-inclusive and ally teams from all around the country at Carrow Road, all of whom contributed to a wonderful day of celebration.

'This is yet another demonstration of the shared commitment of Aviva, Norwich City and Proud Canaries to make football everyone's game, and to create a safe and welcoming environment, where people from all backgrounds are able to enjoy playing the game they love.'