A very busy Pride week
1 September 2016
2016 was one of our busiest Pride weeks yet, with our own Pride Cup tournament, our End of Season Do, It's a Gay Knockout, flag raising at the Etihad Stadium, the annual parade and Soap Star Olympics... to say nothing of a few nights out and copious amounts of alcohol consumption!
Saturday 20 August:
Manchester Pride Cup
What started as a simple friendly two years ago, has grown into a mini tournament with six teams taking part. It was a rare outing for both VMFC's first and second teams not only playing at the same time, but also playing each other. And for the first time ever VMFC put out a team of veterans, appropriately named the Village Elders.
After winning the Cup for the first two years, it wasn't to be VMFC's year. Read all about the tournament here.
The tournament was followed that evening by our End of Season Do and Annual Awards. The five usual awards were joined by a couple of new ones, and we were delighted to welcome our sponsors, Linten Technologies. Read more about the awards here.
Thursday 25 August:
Polly's It's a Gay Knockout
For the last three years VMFC has reigned supreme at Polly's It's a Gay Knockout, with its high heeled egg n spoon race, handbag tossing, get your sausage in the hoop, and tug o' war. Sadly it wasn't to be four years in a row, and indeed we didn't make it to the final. Time for another group to take home the Fairy Muff trophy... and congratulations to our friends the Spartans.
Friday 26 August:
Raising of the rainbow flag
Manchester City are undoubtedly community focussed and it was great to be part of the raising of the rainbow flag at the Etihad Stadium to mark Pride weekend. VMFC were invited along, to join with Manchester City's official LGBT supporter club Canal Street Blues, Football Versus Homophobia and Manchester Pride. Raising the flag was none other than current Lord Mayor of Manchester and former Mr Gay UK Carl Austin-Behan and his consort and husband Simon.
Present from Village Manchester FC were our chairman John Bridges and Recruitment Officer Alex West.
Saturday 27 August:
The highlight of Manchester Pride is always the parade, and this year VMFC were bigger and better than ever before with over 30 players, supporters and sponsors proudly taking part. It's always a terrific event with tens of thousands of cheering spectators. The year we gave away 1,000 purple whistles in the first half an hour and thousands of stickers, and had fun with our two foot balls!
The parade was followed by one of our now regular kit nights in the Village where we got the chance to show off our new kit once again.
Saturday 27-Monday 29 August:
For three days we have a stall in the Expo, along with a host of other sports and community groups. It was the ideal opportunity to unveil our new pull up banners (matching our other banners, polo shirts, stickers etc). Visitors to the stall were able to test their penalty shoot out skills with our speed recording machine. Much fun was had and we destroyed a set of goals!
We were visited by the LGBT charity Stonewall and were delighted to meet again the Lord Mayor of Manchester Carl and his consort Simon.
Monday 29 August:
Polly's Soap Star Olympics
Bank holiday Monday afternoon saw a plethora of soap stars (ok three and a couple of awesome drag) strut their stuff in front of New York New York as the indominatable Polly once again took to the microphone and VMFC once again put in a team to take part in a range of silly activities, this time joined by teabagging! It wasn't to be our year, as the team from New York New York itself won (we came second, so at least beating the soap 'stars').
Congratulations to NYNY and Polly for once again putting on an awesome Pride show. We'll be back next year!
Monday 29 August:
The Vigil remembers all those from the LGBT community and allies who are no longer with us, particularly those taken from us due to HIV/AIDS. It's a quiet, thought-provoking moment of the manic Manchester Pride weekend, broken only by the celebratory fireworks.
VMFC would like to thank everyone who played in the Pride Cup, took part in the silliness of It's a Gay Knockout, attended the raising of the rainbow flag, marched in the Pride parade, volunteered at the expo, did more silliness at the Soap Star Olympics, and joined us for the Vigil.
Next year, why not get involved too?
Words and photos: Steve Joyce