The Wrexham Community Cup is a football match that takes place each year in Wrexham, North Wales. It is the brain child of Steve Gilbert, an avid and relentless campaigner for equality within football. As well as his main role at the Wrexham Disabled Supporters Association, Steve works closely with both local and national organisations promoting equality in sport from every spectrum. Steve works very closely with an inclusive football club in Wrexham, Bellevue FC, Wrexham’s first league registered, multi-ethnic and Inclusion specific football club, with almost all of their players coming from foreign backgrounds, either as refugees, asylum seekers or economic and educational migrants, or local players with mental health issues or learning difficulties. It is this inclusive mindset that encouraged Steve to put together the first Wrexham Community Cup, with Bellevue FC. True to Steve’s nature, it is an accomplishment that he is eager to play down, preferring to heap praise onto the team of co-organisers he put together to make the day successful. As well as a great advertisement for local inclusion initiatives, the Community Cup also highlights the great work done by organisations across the country. Last year’s event saw Kick it Out, Fans for Diversity, Wrexham AFC and the Co-op all working together to promote community cohesion and social integration through sport.
This year we are pleased to announce that the 2019 Community Cup is supported by Level Playing Field, Football v Homophobia and Show Racism the Red Card to name just a couple. Match Co-ordinator Delwyn Derrick, also the secretary at Bellevue FC, had this to say about the Community Cup: “Wrexham is a special place when it comes to communities, and the Wrexham Community Cup is a celebration of that as well as a chance to give well deserved recognition to people and organisations who work hard to achieve inclusion and diversity in football. We are really excited to work alongside Show Racism the Red Card for a third time in the last twelve months and we’re looking forward to also forging new friendships and working relationships with Level Playing Field and Football V Homophobia. We also hope to see some familiar faces on the day, which we’ve been privileged to work alongside for a couple of years now. Ultimately we hope that the big winner will be the sport.” Event founder and organiser Steve Gilbert added: “I believe inclusion is as important as accessibility in the work we do at the Disabled Supporters Association. That carries over into life and everyone should be treated with equal respect regardless of creed, colour, sexual identity or preference. To that end we look forward again to working with our great friends at Bellevue FC as well as Football V Homophobia and Show Racism The Red Card Cymru as we as Level Playing Field who we have a long standing relationship with. Football is such a powerful unifier and we will all see and feel that on the day.”
This year’s Community Cup will see Bellevue FC take on a team billed as the Wrexham DSA All Stars, which will include members of the Wrexham Disabled Supporters Association, former professionals and local players both past and present. Ultimately the aim of the Wrexham Community Cup is to show how much can be achieved when we all work together towards equality and inclusion, not only in sport, but in our communities and we hope you all can join us on the day.