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Chris Noble MBE: 10 years on since the 'Pride Cup'

24/04/2021

It is now over ten years since Chris Noble MBE from Sheffield Eagles, Sarah Williams, Equality and Diversity Manager for the RFL, and Lou Englefield from Pride Sports, planned the Pride Cup - a rugby game dedicated to tackling homophobia.

There were massive hurdles that had to be overcome so that the Eagles could play a professional rugby match against Widnes Vikings at Bramall Lane on March 13th 2011.

Sheffield Eagles were and still are, as far as is known, the only professional team of any sport to support the LGBT community with a match in their name with shirts worn by the players.

So much so that there were in excess of 40,000 newspaper references all over the country and abroad, as well as a letter from Sir Elton John offering his congratulations to everybody involved along with a letter from then Prime Minister David Cameron.

Ten years have passed so very quickly. It was a great day with various celebrities and members of parliament attending the game.

Following the match Sheffield Eagles received several letters from schools referring to bullying. 

In response, different members of the squad attended schools and spoke to the students about how bullying in any form or to any person for any reason was not acceptable in Rugby League, at Sheffield Eagles, or in any walk of life.

Sheffield Eagles are proud to support the RFL’s ‘Tackle It’ initiative, a sport-wide action plan to make Rugby League a truly inclusive sport by tackling discrimination and breaking down any barriers to involvement.

For more information on Tackle It please visit: https://www.rugby-league.com/tackle_it