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Published 28 June 2023 4 min read

Find out more about Three Lions Pride

Written by:

Nick Judd

England’s Three Lions Pride group are growing in numbers, and looking forward to watching England both home and abroad

This month is Pride Month and England were, as they always are, cheered to the rafters by the Three Lions Pride group in both Malta and Manchester, which has enjoyed another year of growth in a monumental 2022-23.

The game against North Macedonia, which was the first to be held away from Wembley since England’s back-to-back Nations League matches against Italy and Hungary at Molineux last summer, saw some northern-based supporters join Three Lions Pride on a matchday for the first time. 

And as the Three Lions Pride group swells in numbers, they’re already looking forward to next summer’s European Championship in Germany after their decision not to travel to the World Cup in Qatar last winter.

"Assuming we make it to both the EUROs and the 2026 World Cup, it’s nice to have two tournaments where we don’t have to worry about the safety of our members,” says Joe White. “It’s nice not to have to worry on a massive scale, in the same way we did in Russia and Qatar.

“In Germany, there are a lot of LGBT+ fan groups for club sides but there isn’t one for the national side. We’ve already been in touch with people who are in the venue locations, so we’ll definitely be meeting up with LGBT+ football fans next summer. If we get there.

“We’re also continuing our really close work with Football Supporters Europe in preparation for us getting there, and then hopefully getting to the USA, Canada and Mexico in 2026.”

By 2026, it’s likely that Three Lions Pride will be one of the most populous LGBT+ fan groups in world football. Set up in the run-up to the 2018 World Cup, the group is an increasingly visible presence, both at Wembley and further afield.

White says that membership has gone up by 20 per cent this year, and believes that growth is an indication of the influence Three Lions Pride is having on LGBT+ supporters who might previously have been reluctant to go to England matches. The rest of Europe is taking note.

“France now has a similar fan group, which was first set up in the aftermath of the Russia World Cup,” says White. “They got in contact with us to find out how we operated. Obviously, they’re rivals on the pitch, but off it, it has been really nice working with them and supporting each other with projects.

“The Welsh FA have also been amazing, and now the Scottish national team has the Proud Tartan Army group too. We’re hoping to meet up with them and run a social when England play in Glasgow for the friendly in September.”

Harry Kane wore a captain’s armband to mark Pride Month as England prepared for their final match before a well-earned summer break. And White and their fellow Three Lions Pride members were watching on from the Old Trafford stands, looking forward to what the 2023-24 season will bring.

Regular liaison with the FA will also ensure that their voice continues to be a powerful one in the England game.

“The FA are very proactive,” says White. “We had a meeting with them before the Ukraine game and ended up having a much longer chat than any of us intended. We weren’t just looking back at Qatar, and the lessons learned there, we also looked forward to this qualification cycle and onto Germany next summer.

“We also wanted to get a sense of what we could learn from the six years we’ve been running now. I think we’ve come a long way.”

If you are interested in becoming a member of Three Lions Pride, you can find out more via their Twitter page here.  All are welcome and encouraged to join if they wish, including allies!