Leicester Wildecats

















Leicester Wildecats

Founder and Chairman, Gareth Miller tells the Wildecats’ story:

Leicester’s LGBT football team was started by me in August 1996. Having briefly played for a similar team in Nottingham that disbanded, I decided to set up my own team in Leicester. After distributing flyers around the gay venues of Leicester and Loughborough, a dozen men turned up on the first night and the UK’s third gay football team came into existence. After 3 weeks a couple of women appeared, and we then became the first gay and lesbian team in the country. We are very proud to still be one of a very small number of mixed clubs.

The first 11-a-side friendly in May 1997 resulted in a 7-3 defeat against Village Manchester. Many more friendlies were played against gay and straight teams over the next few years prior to the formation of the GFSN League. Wildecats took part in the very first GFSN League match in September 2002 when Yorkshire Terriers were the hosts in Wakefield. Terriers scored the first historic goal and were 1-0 up at half-time, but Wildecats rallied in the second half to win 5-1. Wildecats were runners up in the first 2 seasons of the GFSN League, but our major successes in the early days were in the annual GFSN national 5-a-side tournament. Wildecats won this event six years in a row between 1998 and 2003.

As other teams were formed, competition became greater and Wildecats struggled to maintain their position as one of the top teams. However, after two or three disappointing seasons, the team found form again in 2007-08 under the leadership of Heather Buxton and were runners up in both the GFSN League and Cup competitions.

The team was set up initially as a weekly fun kick-a-bout, and this is still a very important part of the set-up. Not everyone is able to play in the GFSN League team, but the weekly kick-a-bout is open to everyone, regardless of ability and age, and is usually attended by around 40 people. Leicester Wildecats will be making their World Cup debut when they take part in the London 2008 IGLFA World Championship.”


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