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Wrexham officers stepped up their community engagement efforts with two further games against football sides who champion inclusivity and diversity.
Following on from their victory against Bellevue FC as part of Refugee Week, Wrexham Town Police Station FC headed to Merseyside a week later.
Playing at the Target Football pitches on Liverpool’s Admiral Street, the visitors faced Rainbow Toffees - Everton’s LGBTQ+ supporters group.
The home side won 7-4 in a lively and entertaining encounter, with legendary Everton and Wales goalkeeper Neville Southall among the crowd watching on.
Southall, an ambassador for the LGBT community in recent years, lent his support to the initiative and had promoted the fixture to his thousands of followers on social media.
Sgt Dave Smith, a lifelong Everton fan who formed the police side earlier this year, is delighted at the progress his officers have made to date.
He said: “It was great for us to be involved in both of these games against sides who are doing so much good within their communities.
“Bellevue are a team we know well. Their support for refugees and migrants within the Wrexham area sets a brilliant example from an inclusion and tolerance perspective.
“And Rainbow Toffees play just as big a part in their community by promoting equality and striving to eradicate prejudice around LGBTQ+ issues.
“Big Nev being there on the day helped to amplify that message and we were delighted to have his support.”
That message resonated with the Wrexham side who have sought to forge stronger relationships between police officers and the communities they serve.
Championing inclusivity and diversity has been central to the officers’ engagement efforts after facing six community sides in friendlies and tournaments already this year.
Travelling to face opposition outside of the Wales area was another pleasing development for Sgt Smith.
He added: “We were delighted to have got the opportunity to play in Liverpool on Sunday.
“For us, it provided an opportunity to spread our message even further as we look to build bridges between police officers and the public.
“Football’s a game for everyone and we believe it has the power to bring people closer together.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Rainbow Toffees Event Manager Paul Hession, whose side were presented with a commemorative pennant by the officers prior to kick-off.
Discussing the fixture, Paul said: “These games are a form of activism in action, which enhances the dialogue around tackling homophobia and hate in football.
“The message this sends to people is that it’s okay to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community and to play and support football.”
Wrexham Town Police Station FC will take on officers from North Wales Fire Service in their next friendly.
A venue is currently being sought for the game, with a date and time yet to be finalised.
If your community side would like to play WTPS FC in a friendly game, please contact: [email protected]
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