The story of our unlikely LGBT allies began when Irish bookmaker Paddy Power approached the ﬂedgling Attitude Magazine Foundation with a daring proposition just ahead of World Cup kick-off in Moscow in June.
For every goal (and own goal) the host nation scored during the tournament, Paddy Power pledged £10,000 to fund a number of causes dedicated to making football more LGBT+ inclusive.
The Irish bookies donated a minimum of £5,000 to the cause to ensure there were no losers in the campaign - which became known as #RainbowRussians.
However, few would have foreseen the extraordinary eff orts of the host nation when inspired to aid the LGBT+ community...
After Russia unexpectedly made it through the initial group phase and into the knockout stages — prompting Paddy Power to up the ante to £20,000 a goal – they then knocked out Spain before falling to Croatia in the quarter ﬁnals (albeit while scoring twice), so the ﬁnal tally accrued by Vlad’s lads was a whopping £170,000.
"We’re glad to celebrate the incredible impact Russia made on the LGBT+ community at this year’s World Cup", say Paddy Power in our November Awards issue. "It took a lot for them to come out in support.
"We are proud not only to have donated £170,000, but also to have given the Russian football team a new LGBT+ fan base."
Read more about the winners from the Virgin Holidays Attitude Awards 2018, powered by Jaguar in the November Awards issue of Attitude, out now.