Offering 11-a-side, 5-a-side and casual training sessions, London Titans have a variety of options for those looking for a team. Their four different 11-a-side teams play across FA-affiliated leagues and friendly LGBT leagues based in the capital. The first team lay in Middlesex County Football League, the seconds in the national gay 11-a-side league (the GFSN), and two sides in the London Unity League. London Titans ‘exist as a club to provide a safe environment for anyone to come and play football regardless of sexuality, age, race, religion or ability.’
Also playing in the GFSN League, as well as a number of different 5-aside and 7-a-side tournaments, Leftfooters were founded in 1999 and are open to anybody wishing to play casual football, ‘regardless of sexuality, gender, ethnicity, age or ability.’ Anyone looking to get involved can find players from the club in the northeast of Regent’s Park on a Sunday afternoon, where there are a few different games, as well as post-game drinks every week.
Previously called Bexley Invicta, this year League One Charlton Athletic announced they would lend their name to this club, as a result, Charlton Invicta became the first LGBTQI-friendly team to take a Football League team’s name. Invicta aren’t an exclusively gay side, they simply provide a team where LGBTQI people will feel welcome. The club also plays in the London Unity League.
The East End Phoenix club website states: ‘For us, having a good laugh at the pub after a match is just as important as who won. That being said, we’re serious about playing to the best of our ability, and developing our team and individual players as well.’ Next year the club will celebrate a decade since its creation. Over that time, the East End Phoenix FC has provided a judgement-free environment in the north and east of London both on the pitch and during social events.
Founded in 1986, Hackney Women was not only the first out lesbian team in the capital, it was also the first women-run team. All members are encouraged to play competitive football, regardless of their ability, through a ‘fair play policy’ that the club instigated – another first from the club. The team has two sides, and play their home games at the iconic Hackney Marshes pitches.
Based in South London, training at the Kennington Park astroturf, today London Falcons have ‘almost a 50/50 straight/LGBT mix on match days.’ The club is ambitious, adding a Saturday team this season, as well as readying themselves for the Pairs Gay Games in August of next year and playing a role in the Tackling Homophobia in Sport event this autumn.
Having started out as one man looking for like-minded individuals to play with, Stonewall was born as an official club in 1991 making them the oldest openly gay football club in the world. Since then, Stonewall has been at the forefront of LGBT sport, operating three teams today, with partnerships with Adidas and Team Pride (a collection of major companies, including Aviva, Sky Sports and O2, that raises awareness surrounding homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in sport).
With a particular focus on recreational, casual games, LLKA hosts football sessions in Regent’s Park and Kings Cross (5-a-side) on a regular basis. Set up in set up in 1999 for lesbian and bisexual women, the club has two key principles – that games should be inclusive and dependable. Whether it’s football or social events, everybody who wants to be involved can be involved, with no exceptions – assuming they also follow the same principles, of course.
Situated in Wood Green in North London, London Romans – like a few clubs on this list – play their competitive football in the London Unity League and the GFSN. For anyone wanting to get involved (the club is always on the lookout for players), the team train at the New River Sports Centre.
Relatively new compared to some of the other clubs in London, Soho FC hosts regular training sessions run by FA-qualified coaches. There are Friday night 9-a-side games, and 11-a-side games on a Sunday morning. The club has also competed in international tournaments over the last couple of years, playing in Helsinki, Hamburg and Paris.
Those in the south west can can head to this particularly quaint part of London by the Thames. It’s perfect for anyone looking for competitive 5-a-side, with players from some of the teams mentioned above – London Falcons, London Titans and Soho FC among them – playing there for some extra game time. Games are played between 7pm to 9pm every Wednesday.