Stonewall FC, Britain’s most successful LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality) football club, made history in November, when it took to the pitch at Wembley Stadium.

Their game against Middlesex County Football League Division One rivals, Wilberforce Wanderers AFC, became the first non-League seasonal fixture to be played at the national stadium. The game, which Stonewall won 3-1, was part of promotion for the Rainbow Laces campaign, which promotes equality for all in football.

Helping to promote the event for his own FA in Somerset and attending on the night was MSc International Football Business (Online) student Conor Ogilvie-Davidson. Here, he tells us about his role with Somerset and the Rainbow Laces campaign…

Can you describe your role at the Somerset Football Association?

As Marketing Officer for Somerset Football Association I am responsible for running and developing the communication channels between Somerset FA as the governing body for grassroots football in the county and our stakeholders. I also partner with businesses and organisations in the county for the benefit of our membership.

What experience have you taken from the classroom in to the work environment?

As a Kick it Out Next 25 scholar, I’ve been able to take even more than the solid academic knowledge from my degree programme, including an in-depth knowledge and appreciation for the positive effect on reducing discrimination and highlighting LGBT inclusion in football.

How important was the event for the Rainbow Laces campaign?

The Rainbow Laces campaign from Stonewall has run for a number of years, and has been pivotal in raising awareness of LGBT inclusion in the sport. This landmark fixture, the first grassroots league fixture ever played at Wembley Stadium, was a real statement of The FA’s commitment to diversity in football.

I attended the fixture along with four of my Next25 peers – Asad Malik, Ronie Twumasi, Julen Beer and Sheriff Taujdeen. We all thoroughly enjoyed the fixture, with several people commenting that the fixture had been more enjoyable than Premier League games from the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool. The fact that Stonewall FC also won their fixture at Wembley in front of just over 1,000 lively supporters was a huge boost for the team. The press and publicity gained for Stonewall, Rainbow Laces and also The FA around LGBT inclusion in football has been immense; furthering the cause and raising the profile of all organisations involved.