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Bexley Invicta FC was set up in January last year and is open to everyone regardless of sexuality, ability or experience
South east London and Kent's only gay-friendly football team is desperately trying to raise funds for the club.
Reporter KELLY SMALE finds out how the team has grown over the last year.
WHEN it comes to sexuality, football is yet to move into the 21st century and come out of the closet.
But Bexley Invicta FC (BIFC), which was set up in January last year, has been breaking down the stereotype of the beautiful game as a sport just for straight men.
Founded by Brian Silk, the club is open to everyone regardless of sexuality, ability or experience.
BIFC started with six members and now has 15 players who regularly train on a Sunday from 1pm at Danson Park in Bexleyheath.
Mr Silk told News Shopper: "We have not just got players and supporters but people who are involved in the social aspect of the club.
"We go bowling in Bexleyheath regularly and have been on a day trip to France."
The 47-year-old added: "You don't have to play to be part of the club. It's an opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to come along and socialise."
BIFC has been playing friendly matches and taking part in tournaments this year in preparation for joining the London Unity League next season.
The league is designed to unite footballers from all different backgrounds in a competitive but friendly football environment.
Mr Silk said: "This year we have concentrated on building up the team and focused on training and getting people involved. We are really happy with how the club is doing.
"We are getting better at football which is the main thing."
The club is not an exclusively gay football team and welcomes straight players too.
Mr Silk said: "Many players and supporters, not necessarily gay, are drawn to gay friendly football as it is generally less aggressive than mainstream football."
BIFC will be holding a fundraising dinner on March 31 from 7.30pm at the Holiday Inn, in Southwold Road, Bexley, to raise awareness of homophobia in football.
Tickets cost £30 for a three-course meal, disco and a raffle.
Prizes include a Wembley Stadium tour, Millwall and Gillingham FC goodies, a case of wine and several nights with Somerston hotels group including Exeter, Newport, Hammersmith and Greenwich.
The event is being supported by The Football Association, Kent County Football Association, Millwall FC, Gillingham FC and The Justin Campaign.
Mr Silk said: "We badly need funds to pay for more training equipment, support to our coaching team and to enable low-income players to play for us."
"I am really pleased with the support we are getting.
"We see ourselves as part of the local community and it’s great to have the support of Kent FA and of local high-profile clubs, along with support from the national Football Association and the Justin Campaign."
For tickets, visit bexleyinvictafc.com
COMING OUT IN FOOTBALL
There are currently no openly gay footballers in England's top four divisions.
Justin Fashanu, who played for a variety of clubs between 1978 and 1997 including Norwich City and Notts County, became the first and only English professional footballer to be openly homosexual.
He committed suicide in May 1998.
The Justin Campaign was founded to demonstrate that 10 years after his death, homophobia is visible in both grassroots and professional football.
It hopes to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions around LGBT people and work towards a future where the visibility of LGBT people in football is both accepted and celebrated.
Anton Hysén is a Swedish footballer who plays for Utsiktens BK and is currently the only openly gay professional footballer in the world.
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