Bryan Robson, Brian Deane and George Santos were among the guests at the launch of the Laurie Cunningham Project on 25th October. The event included the unveiling of a temporary display at the Legends of the Lane museum at Sheffield United about the contribution of black players to the development of football in Sheffield since the 19th century.
The evening also marked the launch of an oral history project to collect the memories of local black people about playing and watching football in the 1960s and 1970s - including the night when Laurie Cunningham visited The Hub, a local African-Caribbean youth club, after making his debut for England Under-21s at Bramall Lane in 1977. Several people who met Laurie were filmed talking about it at the launch and it is clear he became an inspirational role model for many of the young people he met that night.
United's manager Bryan Robson was a team mate and friend of Laurie's and had some stories to tell about going out clubbing with him and Cyrille Regis! Brian Deane also contributed to the video footage describing Laurie as one of his heroes. Des Smith also spoke about the establishment of the Caribbean Sports Club in 1967 and the racism faced by the football team, particularly in the early years. We're still looking for more people to contribute to the story so please get in touch if you can help with your memories or photos.