Around 300 people turned out to watch a Premier League all-stars XI take on an LGBT+ team to raise awareness of inclusion in football, thanks to sponsorship from Kick It Out’s Fans for Diversity fund.

Keith Gillespie, Paul Walsh and Lee Hendrie were among the former professionals who took part in the game against Rainbow Rovers, which celebrated togetherness and inclusivity in the beautiful game.

The Rovers team was also specially assembled for the day and was made up of LGBT+ players and allies. Stonewall FC, Soho FC, London Titans and Charlton Invicta were all represented in the mixed-gender side, who wore a one-off rainbow sash kit which was specially-designed for the game.

Rovers were managed by Anwar Uddin, who works jointly with Kick It Out and the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), and Kick It Out ambassador and LGBT+ campaigner Sophie Cook.

Brighton & Hove Albion legend Guy Butters took charge of the all-stars XI.

Speaking about the day, Anwar said: "I really enjoyed the event at Whitehawk. It was an absolute privilege to arrange a game between the LGBT+ community and ex-Premier League stars.

"I watched a few of those players growing up as a kid, so to get to play - and score - was brilliant." 

The match, which coincided with Brighton's Pride weekend, took place at the TerraPura Ground in the city – the home of Whitehawk FC. The Hawks are known for championing equality with a strong stance against discrimination.

Rovers won the game 4-2, with Anwar’s 25-yard screamer the pick of the goals.

Anwar added: "Everyone had a great day and we're looking forward to the next match.

"A Villa legend playing against the fan group, it’s what Fans for Diversity is all about.”

A portion of ticket sale proceeds will also go to the Brighton Rainbow Fund, the city's fundraising hub for LGBT+ communities and activities.