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Meet the transgender woman shunning the norms in Sunday league football

Skye Stewart set up Black Country Fusion in 2016 as a response to the lack of LGBT diversity in football - she tells Dream Team about its ongoing success

“I have received abuse, but I’m proud of what I am.”

If you’ve watched any football on TV in the past six months, you’ll recognise Skye Stewart.

As the start of Carling’s Made Local campaign, she is the figurehead and founder of Black Country Fusion FC – a team shunning the norms of Sunday league football.

Skye Stewart founded Black Country Fusion in 2016

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Skye Stewart founded Black Country Fusion in 2016

“Two years ago I felt there was an under-representation for the LGBT community within sport and football specifically, so I set up the club with inclusivity as its main ethos,” Skye tells Dream Team.

The 35-year-old Wolverhampton resident admits she was initially nervous to set up the club in 2016.

As a transgender woman, she says she wasn’t sure how well attracting players to a LGBT inclusive club would be received.

“We’ve had huge support since setting up the club, initially in the local area but now nationwide, thanks to the documentary and advert.

“The players that have joined wanted regular football, but they also wanted to join a club with a strong ethos behind it. It’s been great to see them all get behind it,” adds Skye.

The documentary, and supplementary advert, has been on screens throughout 2019, and shows the club’s main figures in their first year as a club.

Gay, straight, black or white – anything’s possible when you put your mind to it is the take home message, and it is one echoed by Skye, who acts as chairlady for the club.

“It was fantastic to be part of Carling’s Made Local campaign, which was all about promoting positive stories in the local community, and hopefully people can benefit from it as well,” she says.

Their off pitch reputation is matched by their on-field achievements, as the club got through to the semi-finals of the county cup and secured promotion in just their second season as a team.

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The Wolves fan admits that she has been abused in the past from the footballing community, but says that while the game is still a way off true parity, she is proud of who she is.

“I’ve fought for where I am today and I think I’ve got a positive story to tell, and that’s vital.”

To discover more about the Made Local Fund and to see how you can support local projects in your hometown, click here.


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