Arsene Wenger: Football isn't just about winning it's about values as Gay Gooners honorary president comedian Matt Lucas celebrates Arsenal For All
PUBLISHED: 16:10 01 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:18 01 October 2017
The Gunners' 2-0 victory over Brighton may not have been the most riveting match, but it was certainly a day to remember for comedian - and huge Gooner - Matt Lucas during the club's Arsenal For All Event.
The long-term passionate Gunners fan and honorary president of the Gay Gooners supporters club spoke movingly on the pitch at half time as part of the club’s celebration of diversity.
The North London giants may attract praise and criticism in equal measures for their on-field endeavours but no-one associated with Arsenal Football Club can be anything other than proud at the way the club has embraced its rich and diverse fan base.
Good-natured Lucas – who recalled watching The Arsenal every week as a youngster at Highbury – raised a smile when he explained to the crowd that he also has a special Arsenal carpet at his house.
But the much-loved comedian also made a serious point about the way homophobia in football has lessened over the past few decades – not least through the efforts of clubs such as his beloved Arsenal.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger also underlined the great work the club has done in helping promote inclusivity and diversity when he was asked how important such matters are after the match at the Emirates.
The long-serving manager who marked 21 years at the helm against Brighton on Sunday replied: “It is vital to [make all minorites feel welcome].
“It is one of the responsibilities of sport, and of football.
“Personally I preach sometimes in the desert a little bit because for me when you listen most of the time to people it’s only about winning [or] it’s only about buying – but for me a football club is first about values.
“And if I am 21 years at this club it is because this [inclusivity] is one of the values we rate and I’m very proud of that.”