Trans-male football team captained by Peterborough player makes history by playing cis-male side in Europe

The city captain recruited 16 trans-men and trans-masculine people from across the UK, with several flying down from as far as Perth in Scotland to be part of the historic first game
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An all trans-male and trans-masculine team has made history by playing an all cis-male team in Europe for the first time – captained by Arthur Webber from Peterborough.

TRUK United FC made up of trans-men and trans-masculine people played their first-ever match against the cis-male Dulwich Hamlet FC Supporters team.

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Despite the team losing 8-1 to the team at Champion Hill in London on March 31 the team were "overcome with joy" to be part of the historic event.

The match between TRUK United FC and a Dulwich Hamlet FC Supporters team at Champion Hill in London (image: SWNS)The match between TRUK United FC and a Dulwich Hamlet FC Supporters team at Champion Hill in London (image: SWNS)
The match between TRUK United FC and a Dulwich Hamlet FC Supporters team at Champion Hill in London (image: SWNS)

Arthur Webber, 25, is captain of the TRUK (Trans Radio UK) trans-male team.

‘Level of joy and pride I didn't think I'd ever be allowed’

The communications officer from Peterborough said: "I gave up playing football at 13 because no team would ever let me join. I was fighting a lost cause.

"Then last year I attended the first all trans-women game and got to know the manager Lucy Clark.

A football team made history as the first all-trans male and trans-masculine team in Europe to take to the pitch in their inaugural match.A football team made history as the first all-trans male and trans-masculine team in Europe to take to the pitch in their inaugural match.
A football team made history as the first all-trans male and trans-masculine team in Europe to take to the pitch in their inaugural match.

"She asked me to get a trans male team together.

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"Most of us met each other for the first time that day, we were warming up doing name games with the ball to introduce each other.

"I don't have words to describe how I felt when our player Parker Dunn at centre forward scored our first goal.

"It was a level of joy and pride I didn't think I'd ever be allowed because of who I am."

Lucy Clark set up TRUK United Football Club (FC) in 2021 after becoming the first openly transgender football referee in the world.

She also founded Trans Radio UK, where TRUK gets its name.

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After making history with the first all-trans female team to play football last year, she challenged Arthur to get a team of trans-men together to make their moment.

Trans-men are typically people who were assigned female at birth before socially and/or physically transitioning to male.

Trans-masculine people are often non-binary or gender-non-conforming people who identify or present as mostly masculine.

They are often people who were assigned female at birth.

Emmerdale actor Ash Palmisciano was in the team, who was the first trans actor to feature in a UK TV soap.

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‘It took me a long time to feel comfortable’

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Harry Nicholas, a centre-back player for TRUK, had stopped playing sports altogether when he transitioned at age 18.

This came after a childhood collecting medals for swimming, football and tennis.

The 26-year-old author of the book A Trans Man Walks Into a Gay Bar said: "I was too scared to approach any football team to know if they would have a place for me.

"When I was a teenager, that would have required outing myself. I didn't know how that would go.

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"As I began binding my chest doing any physical exercise became difficult and I was worried about using changing rooms.

"There were football teams with women and non-binary people, but non for trans men.

"There was a gap, that's why teams like this are really necessary.

"It took me a long time to feel comfortable in tight-fitting gym clothes.

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" I joined an LGBTQ+ football team called Left Footers in London after I had top surgery where Arthur also plays.

"From there he recruited me to join TRUK."

An estimated 560 people attended the match, who all "erupted" when TRUK United scored their first goal according to Harry.

But he said winning wasn't really the point. The Londoner said: "It was never about winning or proving ourselves against cis men. It was about community on the pitch and being there for each other."

TRUK United aims to connect the community playing charity and friendly matches as well as tournaments and cup competitions across the UK and further afield.