1st Edition

LGBT Football Fans Authenticity, Belonging and Visibility

By Rory Magrath Copyright 2024
    222 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    While recent years have seen the emergence of a significant body of research on LGBT inclusion in sport, little is known about LGBT fans. This book provides the first in-depth examination of LGBT football fans’ experiences and sense of place in the contemporary English game.

    Drawing on almost 100 semi-structured interviews with LGBT fans, it explores several important findings, including how these fans represent ‘authentic’ notions of fandom, the emergence of LGBT Fan Groups, improved stadium environment for LGBT fans, LGBT-themed chanting and the role of governing bodies and professional football clubs. The research presented in this book extends current theorising of under-represented groups of sports fans.

    This is fascinating and important reading for those with an interest in the sociology of sport, sports fandom, gender and sexuality.

    Part I: Introducing the Research

    1. Introduction

    2. Researching LGBT Football Fans 

    Part II: Football and Sexuality

    3. Football Fandom in England

    4. Football, Gender and Sexuality I

    5. Football, Gender and Sexuality II

    Part III: LGBT Football Fans

    6. Authenticity, ‘Hardcore’ Fandom and LGBT Fan Groups

    7. Stadium Environment

    8. LGBT-Themed Chanting

    9. Governing Bodies, Professional Football Clubs and Rainbow Laces

    10. Conclusions



    Rory Magrath is Associate Professor of Sociology at Solent University, Southampton, UK.

    'This meticulously researched book cements Rory Magrath’s position as a leading light in understanding the issues faced, and progress gained, by LGBT+ football fans. Magrath’s text will be a ‘go to’ monograph in research on sports fandom, consumption and sexualities, appealing to scholars and students across interdisciplinary landscapes.'

    Professor Peter Millward, Liverpool John Moores University, UK

    'Rory Magrath’s ground-breaking monograph is the first to provide an in-depth examination of LGBT fans’ sense of place in contemporary football. Given its focus on gender, sexualities, fandom and community, this book will become a key reference point for scholars in a range of disciplines—as well as football fans.'

    Professor Eric Anderson, University of Winchester, UK

    'Covering a myriad of pertinent topic areas, this is a comprehensively constructed book that not only engages with the current literature, but also provides new data to advance the study of football and LGBT fans. The content is engaging and will be well received by students, scholars and other important stakeholders interested in this field of research.'

    Dr. Jamie Cleland, University of South Australia, Australia