Luton Tigers celebrate town's BAME footballers who fought racism

A Luton charity determined to empower and unite children from different backgrounds has created a powerful video about the experiences of black footballers.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 8:54 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:23 am
Video - Trevor Dasilva : 'I remember playing and one of the opposition completely racially abused me from the start of the game to the finish. But I didn't react; I let the football do the talking. I remember after the game walking off the pitch and getting a standing ovation.'

Luton Tigers alongside Luton Town FC and the Bedfordshire FA organised an event to coincide with Black History Month and gave the younger generation a taste of what life was like in the world of football for those from a BAME background.

The event was a chance to recognise the challenges the players faced when breaking down barriers for the BAME community from the 1970s onwards, as well as being an opportunity to understand the issues that need tackling today.

To help spread the message, Luton Tigers has now created a video of the ex-players sharing their stories.

Speaking at the event, Daniel Douglas, a young footballer and community operations manager at Luton Town FC, said: “I am here today to learn about the experiences that the older generation would have had to go through, which would have been much harder than what we are facing today.

“It’s our jobs now to spread our knowledge and what we know on to the younger generations and events like today are definitely doing that.”

Luton Tigers co-Founder, Shaz Zaman, said: “Challenging stereotypes and labels is at the heart of what Luton Tigers seek to achieve, the video shows how important it is to celebrate the different communities within Luton whilst at the same time, championing the Lutonian spirit.”

The Luton Tigers team was inspired by two-part documentary ‘Out of their Skin’ that was shown on ITV4 on Nov 27 and 28, and saw Ian Wright focus on the rise of black footballers in the UK.