The history of Bexley Invicta Football Club – as recalled by Brian Silk, Founder and Chairman 2011-2015
Bexley Invicta Football Club was founded by Brian Silk. About his decision to try to set up a gay-friendly football team in the Bexley area, Brian says, “I had been thinking about it for quite a long time, perhaps up to a year before I started to form the club. I was playing football with Leftfooters FC and Stonewall FC, but I had moved from Acton, west London, to Erith and was increasingly finding it inconvenient to travel into central London to play football. So I founded Bexley Invicta with the simple and sole purpose that I might be able to play my football locally. Gay-friendly football clubs were all I really knew as an adult, so I wanted that experience to continue. Looking at a map of London, I could see that there were no gay-friendly clubs based in south-east London or Kent, so I saw a gap in the market and that gave me confidence that a gay-friendly football club in my area would be viable.”
It was in the autumn of 2010 that Brian finally decided he would try start up a gay-friendly football club in the Bexley area. He knew it wouldn’t happen without some preparation, especially finding prospective players. Brian used gay social media, such as Gaydar, to tell people that he was forming a gay-friendly football club and inviting them to get involved. Brian: “This was the hardest and most time-consuming aspect of starting the club. I sent out hundreds of messages to people in south east London and Kent. Luckily, there were a handful of guys who seemed genuinely interested in playing football with my new club, but it was hard to know who would actually come along.” More about that in Chapter Two – The Beginning and Early Days.
The Clubs original badge, before the white horse was replaced by a better-quality image
Among the things needed in place were a name for the club and a badge. Brian: “The name Bexley Invicta was about two ideas. One was to have a name that covers south east London and Kent – my intended catchment area for the club. Bexley is a London Borough and Invicta is the county motto of Kent. The other idea was to have a home for the club. I wanted the club to be part of the community in which it was based and to be proud to be part of it. The badge followed from both these ideas, with ‘Invicta’ – the white horse that is an ancient symbol of Kent – proudly dominating the badge, but also clearly referencing Bexley. I also went for a classic design in homage to the traditions of the game. Also, I chose blue simply because it is my favourite colour.”
As part of the lead-up to the first football-playing by the club, Brian published Bexley Invicta’s website. This website was replaced in August 2015, but you can see the original website here. The structure and layout is virtually unchanged since January 2011.