Kick It Out, the national campaign to kick racism out of football, celebrated its tenth anniversary with a star-studded line up at the Great Eastern Hotel in London.
Past and present football stars attended to show their support, including Ashley Cole, Martin Keown, Chris Powell, Jason Euell, Darren Moore, Cyrille Regis, Luther Blissett, Paul Elliott, and Brendon Batson.
They were joined by other dignitaries including Lord Herman Ouseley, Chair of Kick It Out, PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, England Head Coach Sven Goran Eriksson, Sports Minister Richard Caborn, Premiership referee Uriah Rennie, Charlton manager Alan Curbishley, and former England manager Graham Taylor.
The campaign also received a message of support from Tony Blair.
The initiative was launched as ‘Kick Racism Out of Football’ during the 1993-1994 season by the PFA in conjunction with the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE). The campaign, which since 1997 has been run by Kick It Out with the support of the FA, Premier League, PFA and the Football Foundation, is widely cited as being the catalyst for positive changes in the game through the development of innovative techniques across the football industry.
Howard Holmes, on behalf of ‘Football Unites’ received a special award for their pioneering work as a community-based anti-racist football project.
‘Football Unites’ has also been highlighted by UEFA as a model project in UEFA’s report ‘Unite Against Racism in European Football: UEFA Guide to Good Practice’, a guide that resulted from the ‘Unite Against Racism’ conference held at Chelsea FC on 5th March 2003. (See http://www.uefa.com/uefa/Jubilee/News/Kind=524288/NewsId=138612.html)
The Guide can be borrowed from the ‘Football Unites’ library or viewed online at the UEFA website at http://www.uefa.com/newsfiles/82716.pdf (5Mb PDF document).