Two Glasgow filmmakers are taking steps to kick homophobia out of our national sport… thousands of steps that is.

Cousins Jack Gemmell and Caitlin Black are running up and down the stadium steps of all 12 Scottish Premier League clubs in a bid to raise charity funds and inspire football fans to call out discrimination.

The St Mirren supporters launched the 12th Man: Stadium Run project after speaking to fans and grassroots players who said they still feel uneasy about coming out to teammates and fellow fans.

Jack says: “As film producers, we were interested in telling a story about inequality in the football community and how it affects young players not getting involved — for the fear of being ostracised from the sport.

“So we came up with a film script titled The 12th Man and thought the stadium run is good way of raising awareness around it and unifying fans. It shouldn’t be just LGBT people campaigning for LGBT rights... it’s important that we all do something as a society.”

As the pair travel to 12 different club communities across Scotland, they are raising money for the film’s production costs via their Go Fund Me page — with a percentage also being donated to LGBT campaign charity, Stonewall Scotland.

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Highlighting the importance of the project's message, Sophie Bridger, Campaigns Policy and Research Manager at Stonewall Scotland, says: “Nearly half of LGBT people feel live sport isn't somewhere they're welcome — and one in ten have been discriminated against at a live event.

“Jack and Caitlin are taking on an enormous challenge, and we're thankful they're doing it to raise awareness of LGBT inclusion and valuable funds for our work.”

“Whether you're fundraising, watching a match, or on the pitch, anyone can help make football everyone's game,” adds Sophie.

One positive the cousins have picked up on their journey is the action Scotland’s top clubs are taking to combat homophobia, as Caitlin explains: “Through scheduling, we’ve met someone from each stadium. We’ve ended up getting to know them quite well, which is great.

“In turn, they tell us exactly how much their club is doing, which is what we hoped... that good work has been confirmed. Clubs get quite a bad press sometimes but in working with fans, we can all do a lot.”

Jack and Caitlin’s first run in early April was at Ibrox Stadium where they were welcomed by Rangers’ Supporter Liaison Officer, Greg Marshall.

Caitlin recalls: “While we were running up and down Greg was motivating us and shouting, ‘Just one more step.’ He gave us a tour afterwards, taking us into the trophy room.

“Every single person who has shown us round the stadiums is a big fan of that club... they totally live and breathe it. It was funny when Greg coyly asked, ‘When are you going to Celtic?’”

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At Livingston’s Almondvale Stadium, Jack and Caitlin were met by another local character in Supporter Liaison Officer, Alan Scott, who even joined them in the challenge despite sporting his own injury.

Jack recalls: “Alan even had a crazy suggestion, saying, ‘oh there isn’t a lot of steps, why don’t we do high knees all the way up and squats all the way down?’

“We were like ‘are you trying to break us before we finish this?’” laughs Jack. “By the end of it we asked, do you still want to do squats and he said ‘I can’t believe I even suggested that.’”

In the weeks since, the pair have visited a further seven club stadiums, with Kilmarnock, Hearts, Hibernian and St Mirren still to go. At Tynecastle Park they’ll be joined by players and coaches from HotScots FC, Scotland’s first LGBT-friendly football team.

Along the way, both footie fans and members of the LGBT community in Scotland and further afield have reached out to give Jack and Caitlin support on social media.

One woman they met at HotScots FC told how she struggled to find a football club to play with in the LGBT community.

Jack says: “It took her so long to find what she needed, which means the word isn’t getting out between fans and clubs at ground level.

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“She told us she wishes she’d found the club before she transitioned as it would’ve made her journey a little easier.”

As a fitting finale, Jack and Caitlin will have family and friends with them at St Mirren Park where they’ll make their last stadium run at the club they’ve loved since childhood.

To donate to Jack and Caitlin’s fundraiser, go to their 12th Man: Stadium Run page at