16th –28th October is European Anti-Racist Action Week in football, with activities throughout Europe arranged by football clubs, fans, schools and community groups. Sheffield is supporting the week with the following activities:
On 16th October ‘Football Unites’ helped to launch the week with an event at Sheffield Wednesday, which brought together representatives of Wednesday, Sheffield United and Barnsley. Richard Caborn, Minister for Sport and MP for Sheffield Central (FURD’s constituency), kicked off the event saying “Football can bring together many millions of people together in a shared experience which in itself has the capacity to lead to a greater mutual understanding and respect”. The event was attended by Wednesday manager Chris Turner, United assistant manager David Kelly, Barnsley manager Gudjon Thordarson and chairman Peter Ridsdale, as well as players from all three clubs. The occasion also marked the launch of the ‘Football Unites’ Review – a 30-page report of our activities over the last 2 years, and new posters of the Wednesday and United teams produced by the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ campaign. The review and the posters are all free so just contact us if you’d like any.
Wednesday’s home match against Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday 18th October was designated an ‘anti-racist match’, with thousands of tickets being given away.
On Wednesday 22nd October ‘Football Unites’ is involved in the ‘Off the Shelf’ festival of reading and writing with an event at Bukowski’s piano bar on London Road at 8pm. The event includes the national launch of the 4th edition of the United Colours of Football anti-racist fanzine and the guest speaker is ex-professional footballer Richie Moran, who quit the game because he was fed up with the racism he encountered. He is known to be a powerful speaker and writer. Also included will be performances of work, both serious and humorous, produced by the Chantwriters community writing group, music and a buffet, and all for only £3, or £2 concessions! Get your ticket from the Visitor Information Centre on Surry Street or on the door.
On Friday 24th October United will use their match against Reading to distribute anti-racist posters and fanzines and the players will display a ‘Blades Against racism’ banner.