While, sadly, London’s iconic Pride celebrations are taking place digitally this year, Chelsea FC’s work to create an LGBT+ inclusive club carries on regardless.

As such, we are delighted to announce that former Chelsea and England star, Claire Rafferty, has been appointed as patron of Chelsea Pride, the club’s LGBT+ fan group. Alongside existing patron, former Chelsea legend Graeme Le Saux, Claire will help promote the group’s work to send a strong message that Chelsea FC is a club for everyone, and that there is no room for homophobia, biphobia or transphobia, on or off the pitch.We caught up with Claire to welcome her to the group and to find out more about why LGBT+ inclusion is so important to her.

Ahead of the Pride celebrations we also spoke to Chelsea FC Chairman Bruce Buck who said:‘While we can't be there in person this year, I would like to wish everyone celebrating around the world a very happy Pride weekend. Thank you to Chelsea Pride and everyone at Chelsea FC for making LGBT+ inclusion not just a priority but a fundamental part of our work.'Graeme Le Saux added: ‘I’d like to wish everyone at Chelsea Pride and more widely across Chelsea FC a very happy Pride weekend. Thank you for your continued hard work to make LGBT+ people feel safe, welcome and part of the club.’

Chelsea play Leicester City in the FA Cup the day after Pride. With fans unable to attend games due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we also checked in virtually with our friends at Leicester City’s LGBT+ fan group Foxes Pride. Their Chair Graeme Smith told us‘We are proud of our relationship with Leicester City and also Chelsea Pride. We work together to ensure that LGBT fans are made welcome at the football, whether that’s at Stamford Bridge or King Power Stadium. There’s still much to do, but we know that the commitment shown by Chelsea and Leicester City to the inclusion of all is an important stepping stone.We are thrilled to be celebrating Pride virtually with Chelsea Pride this June, and look forward to meeting again in person soon.’