11th July 2019, 13:00 | KeighleyCougars
Keighley Cougars have always been known as leading the way and continue to do so this Sunday against the West Wales Raiders in Betfred League One with the first ever PRIDE game, celebrating the movement’s 50th anniversary and supporting the fight against homophobia.
The Cougars will sport a specially-designed rainbow pride kit chosen by their supporters for a League One fixture in what the club believes is a first for the Rugby Football League (RFL) in the UK.
And co-owner Ryan O’Neill are confident the colourful PRIDE party they have organised around the match will rekindle the Cougarmania which helped sweep the team to glory back in the early 1990s.
O’Neill and his Brazilian husband Kaue Garcia, one of only two openly gay sports club owners in the world, will be joined by special guests including former glamour model Katie Price for the PRIDE Party & Festival, RFL’s first-ever event of this kind in the UK.
Other guests including Wakefield Trinity prop Keegan Hirst, the sports only current openly gay player, RFL Chairman Ralph Rimmer and Coronation Street star Anthony Cotton.
The day itself is a PRIDE festival with drag performers and festivities throughout the day with the Cougars players themselves getting in on the act following the game with a special performance for spectators in the Hall of Famer bar.
Ryan O’Neill, son of Cougarmania revolutionary Mick, said: “This will be a real celebration for our loyal supporters and volunteers and a party to put the club back on the map. We want to show our community that everyone is welcome at Cougar Park, and to share the passion we have for the club which has been through some tough times.
“We plan to put the club at the heart of our Keighley community and our RFL family, making it as accessible, inclusive and fun as possible. We want to be the club to watch, the one challenging perceptions of the sport, and the one that sets the standards and gets everyone talking like Cougarmania did 30 years ago.
“The PRIDE festival will be another milestone in the history of our team, our town and our beloved sport. We’re sending a clear message in support of the movement to kick discrimination out of sport and we’re inviting like-minded people in our community and beyond to stand with us on the day.”