Just a Ball Game? Patrons
Just a Ball Game? is pleased to engage with its patrons who are all keen promoters of LGBT+ equality inclusion and diversity for all in sport.
Each of our patrons represent figure heads for JBG? helping to raise awareness around LGBT+ issues on a world wide basis.
Asif has been reporting on men’s and women’s football from across the globe for around 25 years visiting in excess of 50 counties. He also writes for anti-discrimination charity KICK IT OUT and The Morning Star newspaper. Alongside his print news Asif often attains (through short videos) visual media providing insight in to players personal stories and breaking news. Asif's Morning star contributions: https://morningstaronline.co.uk/author/asif-burhan
Nikki Symmons is a former Ireland International Hockey, who secured 208 caps over a 13 year career in field hockey alongside turning out several international caps for Cricket Ireland. Nikki was also inducted into European Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.
Following retirement Symmons stayed in the game by moving over to digital management at FIH, and at present is an Inclusion, Equity & Diversity Advisor & Leader, STRIPES Global LGBTQIA ERG Head of Events & Programs and Global Digital Content planner at Philip Morris.
2020 saw Nikki included in the Yahoo Finance Involve Top 100 LGBT+ Future leaders list.Nikki’s podcast: https://redcircle.com/shows/higher
A man who risked it all, to live his truth
Hi everyone, My name is Phuti Lekoloane I am the first 'out' gay male professional football player in South Africa and founder of LGBTI Legacy Games, football tournament that will be staged in raising awareness about homophobia. I am very proud to be a patron of JBG?
Lewisham teaching assistant and GMB Education Convenor Barbara Plant was elected as GMB National President, by delegates at GMB Congress in Brighton.
Barbara has been a GMB member for 20 years and represents GMB members on the Regional Committee and the union's national Central Executive Council.
“As GMB National President I am delighted and so proud to become a patron of Just A Ball Game? and stand in solidarity with its aims.”
Neville Southall MBE is a Welsh former international footballer. He has been described as one of the best goalkeepers of his generation and won the FWA Footballer of the Year award in 1985. ” Tweeting in October 2017 Southall posted: “If your gay, straight trans or anything else you should be able to be what u want (not live a lie) without discrimination or prejudice.”
Adam McCabe is an American professional footballer who currently plays for Georgia Revolution FC of the National Premier Soccer League. McCabe was nominated as the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year for the club. Adam is also a patron for both JBG? and Bradford city LGBT+ fan group. Adam is a columnist for Prost Amerika. His column is called “The Gay Footballer”
Nicola Hobbs plays goalkeeper for Doncaster Rovers Belles and is also a full time firefighter. Born In Portsmouth, Nicola has played for a number of clubs and returned to the 'Belles' 3 seasons ago helping them to promotion to WSL1 in 2015 as an ever present.
On becoming a patron for JBG? Nicola says "It's a massive privilege to be a patron to JBG? it is a very important cause and support mechanism that could change people's lives. It's an honour to have been asked."
At 15 years old Emily Ramsey plays Goalkeeper for Manchester United u17 Centre of Excellence team and is also a current England u16 squad member after making her debut against Germany in November 2015 at St. George’s Park.
Playing the game is not the only talent the young Lioness has, Emily also qualified in 2015 as a referee.
Liam Davis came out while playing for Gainsborough Trinity FC in the Conference North.
He is the highest current semi-professional player in the UK to be 'out and proud.' Liam is also happy to be one of our JUST A BALL GAME? patrons.
Frances an Arsenal fan who is also a North London resident has been an active trade unionist and campaigner all her working life. In January 2013, Frances became the General Secretary of the TUC, the first woman ever to hold this post.
Frances is a strong believer in protecting the public service ethos,opposes privatisation and leads the TUC campaign to save the NHS
ANTON HYSEN joins JUST A BALL GAME? as Patron and Role Model.
Today we at Just A Ball Game? are very excited to announce that Liverpool born and current Swedish 3rd division player Anton Hysen has agreed to team up with our campaign and activist organisation as a Patron and Role Model.
"Andie will take on an ambassador role for our campaign work after making this brave decision as she enters the final few years of her footballing exploits and we are extremely proud to have her on board." Says JBG? founder - Lindsay England.
My name is Reece Robertson I am 18 years old, a student working in a brewery pub and I play Rugby League. I am also a proud gay man! Since the age of seven I have played amateur Rugby League in Keighley. Starting with the Keighley Cougar Cubs then on to Keighley Albion.
I play what’s known as a tough man’s sport but always, along with my supporting teammates,I challenge any homophobic remarks (thankfully very rare) I may hear. I play for a club aiming to create top Rugby League talent – regardless of sexuality.
Beth Ditto (Gossip)
Solo artist Beth Ditto is the former front woman of band Gossip.A blend of soul, gospel, rock, funk, disco, punk, passion and rebellion.
Gossip were comprised of vocalist Beth, guitarist Nathan Howdeshell, and drummer Hannah Blilie. Originally formed in Olympia, Washington in 1999, Gossip first garnered attention in the UK with the release of their 2006 breakthrough album Standing In the Way of Control.
Photographer for The Libertines & AFC Bournemouth, motivational speaker, writer & trans activist.
Ex-RAF, motorbike racer, newspaper editor, Premier League football and rock photographer, self harm and suicide survivor and transgender. Despite all of this I lived my life in fear, of loss, of failure, of success, of being sad, of being happy, of myself, of being outed, of being loved.
Because of these fears, no matter how hard I pushed myself to succeed subconsciously I would self sabotage and stop myself from reaching my full potential.
Our PATRON addition, KAREN HULTZER
World Outgames 2013 Gold Medal Winning and 6 times (in a row) National South African title winner,Champion Archer, and our patron Karen Hultzer.
She competed in the individual event at the 2012 Summer Olympics.During that event event, she came out. She stated: 'I am an archer, middle aged and a lesbian. I am also cranky before my first cup of coffee.'
Claire Harvey is captain of GB Paralympic Sitting Volleyball Team.
Claire became paralysed in one leg after an accident in 2008, following this is when she then discovered Paralympic sports. A Cambridge graduate, out lesbian Claire has earned over 40 caps for Great Britain.
Clarke James Carlisle (born 14 October 1979) is an English footballer who plays for York City as a defender.
Born in Preston, he began playing football at a young age, taking inspiration from his father who played semi-professionally.
Dame Angela Eagle MP
Angela has been an active member of the Labour Party since she first joined aged 17 in 1978 and has since held various positions in the party. She was elected to the Party’s National Women’s Conference in 1989 and chaired the National Conference of Labour Women in 1991
She gained the distinction of becoming the British Parliament's first openly lesbian member by coming out in September 1997 in an interview with The Observer.
Maria Exall, Chair of the Trade Union Congress LGBT Committee and serves on the TUC General Council
Edward Lord OBE
Edward Lord is a sports administrator, politician, non-executive director, and equality campaigner.
Founder of LGBT orientatied website Canal-st.co.uk. Canal-st is a portal providing LGBT lifestyle information for Manchester and the wider NW region.
JBG? Latest Blogs
Happy 11th Birthday to JUST A BALL GAME?
Published: Tue, 09 Nov 2021
GMB TRADE UNION- An Introduction to Just A Ball Game?
Published: Thu, 15 Jul 2021
JUST A BALL GAME? #STRONGERTOGETHER ONLINE EVENT- with GMB TRADE UNION.
Published: Sat, 05 Jun 2021
JUST A BALL GAME? SCOOP NIKKI SYMMONS AS A NEW PATRON ADDITION.
Published: Fri, 16 Apr 2021