Celebrating Black British Pioneers in the Upcoming Euro 2028

In a letter published in The Guardian, a generation of pioneering black British footballers have called on organizers to use the next men’s European Championship, set to be hosted in the home nations in 2028, as an opportunity to commemorate the contributions of black players to the sport.

The signatories, which include legendary figures such as Viv Anderson, Brendon Batson, Clyde Best, and a host of former professionals who were the first black players at their respective clubs, have emphasized the “game’s unique power to bring people together and celebrate diversity.”

“Like so many of us, I’m proud of our diverse England team and what it represents โ€“ and I hope we’re defending champions when we host the Euros in 2028,” said Batson, who, alongside Cyrille Regis and Laurie Cunningham, was part of West Bromwich Albion’s trailblazing trio of black stars in the 1970s. “That tournament is a chance to commemorate the Black players who paved the way for today’s stars.”

The letter highlights several significant milestones that coincide with the 2028 Euros, including the 50th anniversary of Anderson’s debut for England, becoming the country’s first black player, and the 30th anniversary of Hope Powell’s appointment as England women’s manager, a role in which she transformed the perception of the women’s game.

Sunder Katwala, director of the think tank British Future, which helped organize the letter, suggested several ways the game and clubs could acknowledge this moment, such as celebrating pioneering black players through new blue plaques, statues, murals, and artworks, as well as a documentary series capturing the experiences of players, their families, and fans.

As the football community looks ahead to the 2028 Euros, this call to action serves as a powerful reminder of the trailblazing contributions of black British footballers and the importance of recognizing and celebrating their legacy.

๐Ÿ”— Source