Charlton Athletic have won this year's Professional Game Award at the annual Football v Homophobia Awards, beating out competition from Liverpool and Sheffield United.

The award, the first off-pitch award of the Thomas Sandgaard-era, recognises the professional football clubs working in numerous ways to create better inclusion and participation of LGBTQ+ people at all levels of the sport.

Sandgaard himself said: “I am delighted we have won this award, it is a credit to the work the club and our fans do.

"This club has a proud history of inclusion and fighting inequality, which is important, as football should be a safe and welcoming place for everyone.”

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It was in fact a great evening for the Charlton family with Rob Harris, chair of the club’s official LGBTQI+ supporters’ group the Proud Valiants, collecting the prestigious Hero award and Charlton Invicta winning the Grassroots award.

Last month, the club hosted the launch of the Football v Homophobia month of action, despite online racist and homophobic trolls doing their best to disrupt the event, and has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to LGBT+ inclusion for several years.

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Chair of the awards panel, Scott Lawley, said: “Charlton have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to LGBT+ inclusion which runs throughout all levels of the club, and we are delighted that this has been recognised by the voting panel for our awards.”

The club’s Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Dr Michael Seeraj, added: “We are honoured to receive the award, especially considering the excellent work done at other clubs such as Liverpool and Sheffield United.

"We are very fortunate to have an outstanding LGBTQI+ supporters’ group [the Proud Valiants] that drive a lot of the excellent work we are able to do and it is also important to recognise the role of the club’s community trust, who support the club with all their inclusion work.

"Charlton continues to lead the way in promoting equality and tackling discrimination, and this award is testament to that.

"This is something everyone at the club and our supporters should be so very, very proud of.”

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Last year, the Addicks actually came second in the award category, behind Tottenham Hotspur, whilst Charlton Invicta received the Grassroots Football Award and Proud Valiants chair Rob Harris came third in the Football v Homophobia Hero category.