Shrewsbury Town are delighted to announce that Elliott Bennett has become the club's first ever rainbow laces ambassador.
The 33-year-old right-wing-back - who can play anywhere across the defence and midfield - put his name forward in support of the campaign, which kicks off tomorrow and runs until the end of October.
This weekend's match at home to Charlton is Shrewsbury Town's dedicated rainbow laces match for this year's campaign: Inclusion has no off-season. And Elliott will take to the field wearing his rainbow laces. He will also be wearing boots with a rainbow pattern while skipper Luke Leahy will be wearing a rainbow captain’s armband.
“I will be putting my laces in and Adidas have got some boots that are white with a rainbow pattern - and when I put the laces in that will be even more powerful,” Elliott said.
He believes footballers have an important role to play when it comes to educating youngsters and making sure the sport is inclusive for LGBTQ+ people and is determined to make sure everyone knows football is a game for all.
“I’m very proud to be our rainbow laces ambassador,” the 33-year-old said. "I’m proud to be part of any campaign that involves equality and making sure football is for everyone.
“The rainbow laces campaign has been running now for a good number of years and it’s fantastic. It’s great to see that - when it comes to inclusion - things are becoming how they should be in this country.
“Everyone is welcome at football. Everyone should enjoy it and nobody should ever come to a game with any fear. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from or what you believe in. You should be able to come to football and be able to enjoy the game for what it is because it’s an amazing sport that brings people together.”
“I think it’s important to spread those messages so that when people see it and when kids see it, they understand they are there for a reason. That reason is to make sure everyone feels welcome.
“We want to teach people we are on the side of equality and we want to support everyone.”
Elliott played almost 50 games for Town last season and is now back in Steve Cotterill's squad following his return from an injury this summer.