National League rivals Leyton Orient and Dagenham and Redbridge both supported the Fans For Diversity campaign as both clubs played each other twice over the festive period.

With the teams arch enemies on the pitch, the festive activity provided the opportunity to show the spirit of togetherness of the season, with the two teams uniting their respective walking football teams for penalty shoot-out competitions at both matches.

The first match on Boxing Day saw Leyton Orient welcome groups from Dagenham to the Fans For Diversity Hub. The Hub is supported by Kick It Out, the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) and First Class Facilities Management, which provides a unique matchday experience for diverse groups and organisations, allowing them to enjoy a professional game in a safe and comfortable environment.

The match was also dedicated to the work of Fans For Diversity, with the players from Orient donning on t-shirts in recognition of the Hub and the campaign.

Both groups of walking footballers were flag bearers on the day alongside the Under-12s and Under-14s girls’ teams from Dagenham. In the penalty shoot-out contest at the Matchroom Stadium it was the visitors who claimed victory.

On New Years’ Day, the reverse fixture was played at the Chigwell Construction Stadium with the girls’ and walking footballers’ teams once again playing a role on matchday supporting Fans For Diversity.

In the return penalty shoot-out, the honours were shared as both sides accepted a score draw.

The two matches gave over 8,000 spectators the opportunity to see the Fans For Diversity campaign in action and Anwar Uddin, the FSF’s Diversity and Campaigns Manager, was thrilled with the response from both clubs.

“I’m really pleased with how the Fans For Diversity derby activity between Leyton Orient and Dagenham and Redbridge turned out across the festive period.

“It was an opportunity to provide some seasonal cheer with supporters and it was great that both clubs were able to show their support towards Fans For Diversity and Kick It Out in such a unique way.”