Wolves have joined forces with supporters to unite against discrimination in any form while watching the team at Molineux.
A new banner displaying the words ‘we unite together as one pack’ has been designed in cooperation between the club and the fans after several high-profile incidents of racism and discrimination.
With Wednesday evening’s Premier League fixture against West Ham United being Wolves' designated ‘rainbow laces’ fixture, where the club raises awareness of the work of Stonewall, the banner will be held by fan volunteers on the pitch as the players walk out of the tunnel, moments before the 7.30pm kick-off.
Joe Ellement, a season ticket holder in the Sir Jack Hayward Stand who approached the club in October regarding the creation of an anti-discrimination banner at Molineux, said: “The idea came about because of the issues surrounding our Europa League visit to Slovan Bratislava, while racism reared its head once again when England played away in Bulgaria in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.
“These incidents made me think that I would like our fans to display a message to the rest of the footballing world that we as a club and a fanbase are completely against discrimination in any kind of form.
“Wolverhampton and the West Midlands is a very diverse area and Wolves fans are very proud of that, so this was our way of saying it doesn’t matter what religion, race, gender or orientation you are – if you’re a Wolves fan, you’re a Wolves fan.”
Working in cooperation with Dave Wood, Wolves’ supporter liaison officer, the banner was first displayed ahead of Wolves’ Premier League match with Southampton, before featuring once again when Bratislava visited Molineux on Europa League Matchday 4.
“I originally put a tweet out and a lot of people gave their backing to it,” Mr Ellement said. “I contacted the club and was put in touch with Dave and we discussed what we could do about having a banner displayed at our matches at Molineux.
“It was a very quick turnaround. From our initial discussions, we wanted it to be in place for the return game against Bratislava in October, but it was all done within three or four days.”
£650 was received by Wolves towards the creation of the banner after Mr Ellement carried out fundraising towards the project, but after consultation, the club has decided to donate the money to three separate charities which fight against discrimination in football – Kick It Out, Stonewall and Level Playing Field.
In recognition of his efforts against discrimination, Mr Ellement will be part of a special presentation on the pitch at half-time of Wolves’ match against West Ham on Wednesday evening.