More than 50 colleagues, Chelsea Pride, and Chelsea Women’s supporter group members represented the club at Pride in London at the weekend.
While Pride in London was celebrating its 50th anniversary, our cohort were on the first Chelsea Pride bus of its kind, as the club stepped up its presence at the annual parade that celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQI+ communities.
Starting at Hyde Park, our bus included club mascots Stamford and Bridget, as well as young footballers walking alongside, entertaining the crowd – which peaked at more than a million - with their football skills.
Senior communications manager Emma Marshall, who was on the bus, says: ‘It was overwhelming to see so many people lining the streets as the bus made its way from Hyde Park to Whitehall. To be on the bus with so many colleagues, friends and allies to showcase Chelsea as a club that champions football as a game for everyone, was inspiring.’
It wasn’t just football skills that got the crowds going when the Chelsea vehicle passed – our bus was blasting out a dance-floor-filling playlist, which saw our mascots showing off their dancing skills.
‘Stamford and Bridget absolutely rocked it,’ adds Emma. ‘They brought the energy – appealing to people of all ages and got the party going. They really brought people together – whether they were Chelsea supporters or not; it didn’t matter – it was all about one love on the day.’
With the buzz of the parade settling, Emma is looking forward to joining the Chelsea bus at Pride in London next year, and she’s hoping it will be bigger and better.
‘We’ve shown that we can do an awesome Pride and I know that we can do it even bigger and better on our second go next year!’, she adds.
Tracy Brown, Chair of Chelsea Pride added: 'Sharing this experience with our members, the club, friends, and allies is what it’s all about and let’s not leave Stamford and Bridget off that list.
'Having our first float just made it extra special for me. Years of working hard pays off when you get to party together in such a way and celebrate all that is our wonderful LGBTQ+ community.'