As part of One Game, One Community weeks of action in football, Sheffield United teamed up with Off the Shelf, Sheffield's festival of words, to commission award-winning writer Jackie Kay MBE to write a poem about kicking racism out of football. Jackie read her poem on the pitch before kick-off at the Sheffield United v Portsmouth match on 29th October, and it will remain a permanent feature at the ground.
When FURD heard she'd been inspired to write a poem about Arthur Wharton, we invited her to visit our Arthur Wharton Archive before the match, part of our Resources and Information Centre at the U-Mix Centre, a short walk from United's home on Bramall Lane. The day after the premiere of the FURD-commissioned film 'The Arthur Wharton Story', Jackie treated staff to an impromptu rehearsal of her Wharton-themed poem, 'Here's My Pitch', and after a cup of tea and some deliberation about who to support, left us well dressed in a Sheffield United scarf borrowed from one of our volunteers.
Follow the links below to: the rehearsals on our Youtube channel; a sound recording of the second rehearsal; and a Guardian article about the poem.
A team of FURD workers and volunteers were at the match distributing free 'Blades Against Racism' team posters and Let's Kick Racism Out of Football stickers and magazines to fans in support of Action Weeks.