Matt Earl – January 2020
How long have you supported spurs? Tell us about the first game you saw…
I’ve been a spurs supporter all my life – 25 years and counting! It all began with my Dad, who was a Gordon Banks fan, but living in Kent and with him playing in Stoke it was impossible to get the shirt. His parents bought him an England shirt, which in the days before sponsorship was also the same shirt used by Spurs. The support began there and was passed down a generation.
Who is your all-time favourite player? Who is your current favourite?
My all-time favourite player is probably Gareth Bale. In my opinion, the most talented Spurs player that I have seen live. One game in particular was a Europa League game at home to Lyon, being in the stands as the last kick of each half was a free kick into the top corner to win 2-1. Amongst the current team, I have a particular soft spot of Harry Winks. He wears the shirt with such immense pride whilst taking it all in his stride and plays with true grit and determination.
What is your most memorable Spurs-supporting moment?
The most memorable Spurs supporting moment has to be the Moura third goal! My local pub to this day still has light fittings missing after being broken during the pandemonium from the Spurs fans celebrating it! (Photo used is from that iconic CL final day)
Why did you join the Proud Lilywhites?
I joined the Proud Lilywhites to show solidarity to the LGBT+ fans within football. A voice to prove that it’s OK to support who you want on and off the pitch!
And finally, what would you want to see the Proud Lilywhites achieve in the next year?
I would love to see the Proud Lilywhites continue to grow and be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with all the players at Lane. Seeing the Proud Lilywhites represented on the pitch more often than not!
You can follow Matt here:
Like all Spurs fans, we’re looking forward to Sunday’s clash against Chelsea. However, unlike all other Spurs fans, we’re also approaching the game with an impending fear of dread at the prospect of hearing the ‘Chelsea Rent Boy’ chant.
Let’s not kid ourselves that the ‘rent boy’ chant is somehow not homophobic. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be sung, and as with the antisemitic and racist chants and noises – they’re sung precisely to be insulting and hateful. It’s also exposing a new generation of young fans to words and terms that provoke questions they shouldn’t have to ask.
The chant has been heard at grounds this season and whilst we are certain that the majority of fans don’t sing this with any intent to make LGBTQ+ fans, feel uncomfortable, ostracised or demeaned, the impact it has on us shouldn’t be underestimated as the term has been used over many years to victimise young gay men; it’s disappointing to hear it chanted when Chelsea play. We hope we won’t hear it on Sunday.
We’re Spurs, and should be better.
We know from our great work with our Club that they are completely supportive of the Proud Lilywhites and our global LGBTQ+ fan base. They are committed to ensuring our stadium is a safe and inclusive environment for all fans and won’t tolerate any form of discriminatory behaviour. We’re proud to be part of a club that fights all forms of discrimination – on and off the pitch, and the support we get from fellow fans echoes this.
We all love this game and we want to win matches and trophies, but we want to do it with style. Homophobic language, when unchallenged, can have consequences: together, we have to be the change we want to see. Making change, fan by fan if necessary, is why we’re here and we won’t rest until we’ve done it.
Should you hear or experience anything you consider to be unacceptable, or that goes against the Spurs Respects ethos you can report it to the Club via the text service on 07537 404821, please include your location (Block/Row/Seat) and the location of the offence (Block/Row/Seat) and include HPH for homophobic chanting. You can also use the Kick it Out app and we would also appreciate it if you could contact us through our contact form HERE so that we can continue to work with the Club to eradicate homophobia in our amazing home.
We all want the team to do well and keep up their excellent run, so let’s start the festive season together.
With the popularity of our Limited Edition Proud Lilywhites Gamma Ray Pale Ale, which quickly sold out on the Beavertown webpage, we have secured an extra final treat for our supporters in Brighton this weekend!
Although we wont be making an official appearance ourselves, Beavertown Brewery will be providing one last chance for supporters to get their hands on one of the limited Proud Lilywhites cans at Brighton Pride at the following locations this weekend:
Idle Hands (BN1 3XD)
Hartleys (BN2 1EA)
Wine Barrel (BN3 1DB)
Trafalgar Wines (BN1 4EQ)
The Temple Bar (BN1 2AD)
William The Fourth (BN1 1UJ)
Hare and Hounds (BN1 4JF)
Tweet us pictures if you are lucky enough to get one @SpursLGBT
Or send us pictures through our other Social Media pages
And don’t forget, proceeds go to LGBT+ charity Just Like Us
Happy Pride Weekend!
Beavertown Brewery and Tottenham Hotspur LGBT+ supporter association launch limited edition Gamma Ray for Pride In London
The Tottenham Hotspur LGBT+ supporter association, the Proud Lilywhites, and Official Craft Beer Supplier at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, Beavertown Brewery, have just announced a pioneering partnership launching in the run up to Pride In London!
The Tottenham based craft beer brewery is producing a limited-edition Proud Lilywhite branded can of their much-loved Gamma Ray beer which will be sold through venues in Central London over Pride in London weekend (6th/7th July).
Beavertown, which has a micro-brewery inside the new Tottenham stadium, is going to be donating proceeds from the beer to LGBT+ charity Just Like Us to support their amazing youth empowerment and mentoring projects across the UK.
This is the first of a number of collaborations between the award winning LGBT+ football supporters’ group and Beavertown Brewery.
Commenting on partnership Proud Lilywhite co-chairs, Chris Paouros and Simon Gray, said:
“We are very excited to launch our first Pride product with Beavertown. As passionate Spurs fans it’s great to be able to work with a local business and even better to see how we can join forces to benefit a grass roots LGBT+ charity.
This June marks 50 years since the Stonewall uprising in New York which sparked the LGBT+ rights movement and we couldn’t be more proud of the journey we have been on with Tottenham Hotspur over the last 5 years, but our fight is far from over. We know there is still work to do to ensure that football, sport and wider society can truly embrace people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
We hope that this campaign will not only emphasise the work there is to do, but will also support a fantastic charity whose vision is a world where all LGBT+ young people live awesome lives.”
While Logan Plant, founder of Beavertown Brewery added:
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support Proud Lilywhites. Craft beer and football are often seen as exclusive communities, but that’s just not the case. Proud Lilywhites are truly living up to the Spurs motto ‘to dare is to do’ as they’re breaking the mould by pioneering an inclusive space for LGBT+ fans and tackling adversity head on. At Beavertown we strongly believe in breaking down barriers, one can at a time, which is why we’re proud to be collaborating with such an important association who we feel align with our own principles. The Pride edition of our Gamma Ray APA is just the beginning of an exciting partnership with Proud Lilywhites, and we’re delighted that the proceeds will be supporting LGBT+ youth charity Just Like Us, who champion equality in schools and universities using a network of LGBT+ role models.”
Finally, Tim Ramsey, chief executive of Just Like Us said:
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Beavertown and Proud Lilywhites this Pride. As people gear up to celebrate Pride this year, Beavertown Brewery is sending an amazing message of support to the LGBT+ community. It’s also hard to think of a better way to raise awareness and money to support our work to end homophobia, biphobia and transphobia than with a pride edition of Gamma Ray! “
Look out for the Proud Lilywhites with members of Beavertown team marching in the Pride In London parade on the afternoon of 6th July.
For information on stockists and more details of the partnership follow @SpursLGBT
For press information please email email@example.com
Notes to editors:
Proud Lilywhites is the official LGBT+ Supporters Association of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Formed in 2014, it has grown to over 400 members globally and is an integral part of the Spurs fan base. Proud Lilywhites pride themselves on campaigning for further equality in football, both directly as Spurs fans and as a founding member of the Pride in Football alliance. The Proud Lilywhites have run numerous equality workshops with foundation and Club staff and are also key contributors to the Kick It Out Raise Your Game programme, Football V Homophobia and Rainbow Laces campaigns.
In 2018 Proud Lilywhites won the Fans for Diversity Supporter Group of the Year award in recognition of their continued work and commitment to ensuring football is everyones game.
Beavertown is dedicated to crafting high quality, innovative beers like Gamma Ray APA or Neck Oil SIPA that appeal to the thirsty masses, as well as more experimental brews from their Tempus Project. From brewing to branding, they believe in creativity in everything they do. Their famous Gamma Man is hard to miss and even harder to forget. At Beavertown, they believe beer is more than just a beer, it’s an inclusive experience; so they host a weekly Saturday taproom to give people the chance to taste their carefully crafted beer in its natural habitat, their own Tottenham brewery. Now seven years old, Beavertown began life on a 650L kit in a BBQ joint in Haggerston, currently brewing in 5500L batches producing around 9,000,000 pints a year with a new brewery opening in March 2020 capable of 90,000,000 pints! The official craft beer of Tottenham Hotspur F.C. (and how they came to meet the Proud Lilywhites), you can enjoy a crisp pint of your favourite Beavertown brew in their new taproom and microbrewery inside the stadium – the first of its kind. www.beavertownbrewery.co.uk
Just Like Us (JLU) is the LGBT+ charity for young people working for a world where LGBT+ young people live awesome lives. Our mission is to empower young people to be the champions of LGBT+ equality at school and work. To do that, we run three programmes. Our Ambassador Programme trains LGBT+ young people to give talks and workshops in schools that use their own stories to champion LGBT+ equality and challenge prejudice School Diversity Week is our annual initiative to empower teachers and pupils across the country to tackle homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying by organising activities that celebrate LGBT+ equality in education. Our Pride Groups programme trains teachers to support pupils to run pupil-lead LGBT+ and Ally groups in schools Just Like Us has worked with over 30,000 pupils through our Ambassador Programme and will reach a further 1,000,000 school students and teachers in School Diversity Week 2019. www.justlikeus.org
It’s unfathomable that we are writing this. We were supposed to talk to Jonathan after his week off and always looked forward to our phone calls and meetings because we knew we’d achieve something and it was always a joy to interact with him.
Like so many other people we are heartbroken that Jonathan is no longer with us. We’re struggling to articulate because any words we produce would never do him justice.
Kind, clever, funny and a fierce advocate for equality and inclusion, we first met Jonathan in February 2014 when he welcomed us to White Hart Lane and chaired the first ever Proud Lilywhites meeting. None of us knew what our group might become, but with Jonathan’s support and commitment to the cause we achieved so much in such a short space of time. We have no doubt that the reason the Proud Lilywhites is such a trailblazer in the LGBT+ fan group movement is down to Jonathan’s groundwork on our behalf with the Club.
We often get asked why there’s a need for an LGBT+ fan group at Spurs. Jonathan never asked, it was in his essence to be an ally and he genuinely cared. He once declared about discrimination: “I don’t get it, it’s about being human and nobody should be discriminated against”. Always a steady head, ready to listen and advise with a dry sense of humour, he wanted to work on educating fans rather than punish them. He believed in, and understood, social change and together we were making it, season by season we’d work together to push the boundaries a little more.
It’s striking, but not surprising, to see such an outpouring of grief at Jonathan’s loss; from individual fans, to fan groups, to football Clubs, the governing bodies and of course anyone who worked with him. This illustrates the measure of one of the world’s best humans. We’ve been contacted by many other LGBT+ fans who met Jonathan at various events over the years, all of them expressing their sadness, and sharing their gratitude for the work he did on helping us, and the wider LGBT+ fan movement.
Just the other day we were passing the new stadium and took a picture of a rainbow which appeared over it. Knowing we won’t get to be there with him is almost too hard to comprehend, but wherever he is now I hope he knows that we will continue our journey with him in our thoughts and hearts and will carry on with our important work for another reason now too—to honour his legacy.
Rest In Peace JW.
Chris Paouros, Simon Gray and everyone at Proud Lilywhites
We are also proud to share other tributes from the Spurs and football community: