Village Manchester FC

From LGBT Archive
Jump to: navigation, search
Club badge
Village Manchester FC is a Manchester-based gay football club playing regular 11-a-side league matches. The team plays every Sunday in the Manchester Accountants league.

The second team competes in the Manchester Amateur Sunday League and takes part in the GFSN National League's knockout competition.

The team was formed in 1996 by a small, yet determined group of friends who created a team to enable like minded individuals to play a sport they were passionate about in a competitive local league. Motivation was, in part, to prove the point that a gay team could compete in a predominantly straight league, but to provide focal point for all involved to keep fit and socialise together.

In the early years, attracting sufficient numbers of players to turn out and play for the club on a regular basis was an achievement in itself. Although the team held its own in Division 1 of the domestic league, VMFC found life in the league tough going in the first 6 years of competing in Division 1 of the Manchester Accountants league. Despite this, win lose or draw, the players continued to wear the shirt with pride week in week out as well as representing Manchester at numerous football tournaments around the world including Washington (1997), Amsterdam (1998), Florida (1999) and Cologne (2000). The first taste of success on the field came in 2001 when the club reached the semi final of the IGLFA World Championship in London. Following this achievement, the club reached the semi final of the League cup in 2003 and finally gained promotion to the Premier Division in 2004.

2004 Euro Games

2004 - VMFC in Munich

Village Manchester FC took their new found confidence to Munich at the 2004 Euro Games and competed against the best 15 gay football teams from around Europe. The club did itself proud. Village Manchester FC were one of only two teams to remain undefeated in open play throughout the whole competition and were only beaten on penalties in the quarter finals by the then IGLFA World Champions.

2004/5 saw the club stretched expectations further. After adapting quickly to life in the league's Premier Division, VMFC finished in a respectable 6th position in the first season when traditionally previously promoted teams often experienced an immediate return through relegation in that same season.

2005/6 - 1st trophy! League Cup Winners

Recognition for the manner in which the club handled itself over the season resulted in VMFC being awarded the 2005 Manchester FA Fair Play award.

In August 2005 the club traveled to Copenhagen to compete in the IGLFA World Championships and surpassed all previous achievements at a gay football tournament by remaining unbeaten in open play, reaching the final and just missing out on becoming World Champions in a close match which ended 1-1 after extra time, eventually losing the penalty shoot out against Paris.

2006 - First ever trophy win

2007 - GFSN Cup Winners

The experience gained from this tournament instilled a new found confidence that carried through to the new 2005/6 season and would ultimately lead to VMFC’s most successful ever two year period by winning a first ever trophy, The Manchester Accountants League Cup and a highest ever 4th place finish in the league followed by being crowned Manchester Accountants League Premier Division Champions in the following year during the 2006/7 season.

2007 - IGLFA World Cup, Argentina

As so often happens after periods of success and growth, the club has recently experienced a transitional period with many established players hanging up their boots to retire into the now infamous VMFC Hall of Fame and others moving away from Manchester for pastures new. Despite this, the club has continued to attract new players & supporters and whilst 2007/8 season did not produce any silverware during a difficult season for the 1st team, the club traveled to South America to compete in the IGLFA World Cup in Argentina reaching the quarter final stages and capped the season off with the 2nd team victorious in a nail biting GFSN Cup Final eventually winning 3-2 thanks to an injury time winning goal and in turn delivering a 3rd domestic trophy in 3 seasons for the club.

2008 and beyond

2006/7 - League Champions

In the 2008/9 season the club has continued to build momentum, welcoming yet more new faces to the team, a successful club tour to the Barcelona Eurogames and reaching the semi final of the Umbro International Tournament during the summer of 2008 has provided a platform to continue with the development of the club both on and off the pitch. Plans are already in place for a club tour in the summer of 2009, hopes are high for a return to domestic success in the near future and the club is planning to take at least one squad to compete in the football tournament at the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne.

External links