Brilliant to see the Premier League turn rainbow this week. You might think this has happened before and it’s easy to be cynical, “what are some shoelaces and multicoloured flags going to do!?”, but this is an important moment for football.
The sudden burst of homophobic abuse visible online in light of this week’s campaign is a depressing reminder of why campaigns like this are still necessary. It’s easy to forget when you spend your life in a liberal bubble, that many people around the world believe homosexuality is a sin and that in some parts of the world being gay is even still a criminal offence. The responses and comments posted underneath each club’s new profile picture were so gutting to read.
But on the other hand… to see the pride and happiness that a campaign like this gives to so many of the LGBT+ community… to see the relief and rush of fresh energy and hope that it gives people… to see your team stand up for you on your behalf, on a global stage no less, that is beautiful. That is what football is about.
I am proud this week.
By sheer coincidence, this week we have released our latest short documentary, The Brighton Kop: You’ll Never Walk Alone, a film about Liverpool supporters who live 270 miles from the ground but every week meet to share their passion.
It’s a project that started as a small favour for some friends and fellow Liverpool fans, but one that evolved and grew as we filmed more.
We did not initially have any steer for the film in any direction other than to try to show the parallels between these fans and the much romanticised match-going fans in the stadium.
But the more we filmed, the more responsibility we felt we had to tell the full story of The Brighton Kop. They are an amazing bunch of people and I’m so proud to call them my friends. I just hope that the film helps The Brighton Kop grow the supporters club into an even bigger family.
It all started as the definition of a passion project, we just wanted to capture some songs and some celebrations in the pub but a year later, to get the film released online by a national newspaper is beyond our wildest dreams. And to be back at the pub sharing the film alongside The Anfield Wrap live show this weekend is ridiculously cool!
Making films is fun, but it’s even more fun with your mates. Thanks to everyone involved in a project that means so much to me. You’ll never walk alone.
Credits: Director: Reuben Armstrong Guardian Football Editor: Ryan Baxter Camera: Christopher Hood, Jamie Neale & Reuben Armstrong Sound Recordist: Jamie Frye Animation: Jonny Burton & Reuben Armstrong Illustration: Caroline Tomlinson, Jonny Burton & Reuben Armstrong Editors: Jim Burke & Reuben Armstrong Composer: Pascal Wyse Sound Mix: Jamie Frye Colourist: Laura Pavone Thanks to all the members of The Brighton Kop and the staff at The King & Queen pub.