Bellevue Football Club appointed the renowned Dr Sophie Cook honorary vice-president ahead of their new kit launch at the weekend.
The first and award-winning, league registered, multi-ethnic and inclusion specific football team in Wales reached out to Dr Cook to offer an honorary position in the club ahead of the unveiling of their latest strip in collaboration with Football v Homophobia.
Dr Sophie Cook FRSA became the first transgender woman to work in football’s Premier League.
Following her transition in 2015 she became club photographer for AFC Bournemouth.
She has gone on to be a passionate speaker about diversity and inclusion and fighting to break the stigma around mental health and suicide.
Europe’s first trans TV newscaster, Sophie has hosted her own TV and radio chat shows and is an experienced broadcaster.
A former Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate, RAF veteran, writer, speaker, broadcaster, photographer, self-harm and suicide survivor and transgender activist, Sophie is a leading face in all-inclusive football.
Bellevue FC is nationally recognised as a leader in equality, diversity and inclusion for their work in vulnerable communities with people from perceived adverse backgrounds.
The club is hoping that a closer relationship with Sophie will increase the ability of both parties to support each other’s work towards true inclusion in sport.
Delwyn Derrick, founder of Bellevue FC, said: “I’m really honoured on behalf of Bellevue Football Club to announce Dr Sophie Cook as our honorary vice-president.
“Sophie has been a great support to us and is an inspiring person in her own right. We had hoped to offer this role in person when she planned to visit the club earlier this year.
“Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, that meeting never happened, but with new football kits ready for release we decided to ask the question anyway. The new kit encompasses our collective values.
“I am absolutely delighted that Sophie agreed to become a vice-president of Bellevue FC and I am sure that we will all go on to do amazing things together in football.
“We will further the cause of true equality, diversity and inclusion in sport. We’re a small club, with big ideas and an even bigger voice. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to say that we’ve added the inspirational Dr Sophie Cook to our little family of fighters.”
Dr Cook said: “I have always believed that football, the universal language, beloved and understood the world over, has a unique opportunity to bring disparate peoples together. Whoever you are, and whatever your race, religion, sexuality or gender identity, that you can connect with your fellow man through our shared love of the game.
“Bellevue FC think as I do; they are wearing their hearts on their sleeves and they are standing up for principles of equality that they know to be right. I live the message woven deep within these shirts; one club, one people, united, and I am honoured to have been invited to join them as an honorary vice-president.”
Bellevue FC look forward to developing their partnership with Dr Cook alongside the wider community narrative of inclusion in football and sport.