The campaign to finance a major refurbishment of Manchester’s LGBT + centre has been given a £2,500 boost by Altrincham’s groundbreaking rainbow shirts initiative.

Alty made headlines on a global scale when they became the first football club in the world to wear a kit based on the LGBT flag for their Vanarama National League North match against Bradford (Park Avenue) at The J.Davidson Stadium. It was a pioneering stance in support of Football v Homophobia month, and the club felt it entirely fitting that proceeds from the sale of shirts worn by Altrincham’s history-making players should go towards improvement work on the hugely-popular LGBT centre in Sidney Street.

An appeal for funds was launched by the Lord Lieutenant of Manchester Warren Smith last June, after it was estimated £2.25million was needed to equip the centre with the space and facilities to cope with growing numbers wishing to use it. Campaign bosses are edging ever-nearer their target, and they took another step towards it when Alty chairman Grahame Rowley handed over a cheque for £2,500, the amount generated by an auction of the players’ shirts in the Community Sports Hall after the Bradford game.

The ceremony took place prior to kick-off at Saturday’s 5-3 home win over Chorley, with Mr.Rowley presenting the cheque to Sally Carr MBE from the Proud Trust, who manage the centre.

“It was a wonderful occasion when the Altrincham players wore their special shirts, and I was delighted to return to the stadium to receive this valuable contribution to our work,” she said. “We are undertaking a two-year project to refurbish the centre, and we will certainly be inviting Altrincham FC to the opening ceremony.”

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