England U21 fixture to honour Laurie Cunningham in KIO’s 20th year
ALBION are backing Kick It Out’s ‘Season of Action’ campaign – as the organisation prepares to commemorate Laurie Cunningham when England host Scotland in an Under-21 fixture at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, August 13 (ko 7.30pm).
The legendary Baggies winger was the first black player to represent England at Under-21 level and scored the only goal in a 1-0 triumph over Scotland when the two sides first met at this level in 1977.
Albion continue to lend their support to Kick It Out as it complements the diversity, inclusion and equality work the club’s official charity, The Albion Foundation, conducts week in, week out in Sandwell, Dudley and surrounding areas.
Kick It Out’s season-long initiative will replace the traditional ‘Weeks of Action’ period, typically held every October, and features the launch of a free downloadable app to help fans report incidents of discrimination. There will also be a series of events looking at the origins of the movement and projecting the next phase of activities to rid football of all forms of discrimination.
Lord Herman Ouseley, Chair of Kick It Out, said: “Many people thought Kick It Out would be a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ campaign.
“Few thought it would be around today.
“The ‘Season of Action’ will look to reflect the groups and individuals that have helped the organisation reach this milestone.”
The app, launched today so fans can download it ahead of the new football season, is available to users of iPhone and Android devices.
It was developed after a survey, carried out by Populus with over 5,000 fans, determined that more options were required to report discriminative behaviour.
The reporting of these incidents can be done anonymously, in order to protect those who fear they may be singled out if they are seen to be taking action.
The England-Scotland Under-21 fixture, to be played at Bramall Lane like their first meeting in 1977 when Cunningham hit the game’s only goal, is also being dedicated to Kick It Out’s work.
The two teams last faced each other 20 years ago and the game will provide a platform to commemorate Cunningham’s talents, with family members attending in his honour.
Tickets are priced £10 adults, £5 concessions and £20 for a family of four. For further details, click here.
“Kick It Out has helped to alter the landscape of the game,” continued Ouseley,
“Further to steps taken by the governing bodies, the leagues, clubs, players, managers and supporters, our essential tasks are to educate, raise awareness and campaign for equality.
“Legislation has been brought in to help deal with the harassment and criminality associated with the game.
“It is a tribute to all who are working to bring about the changes that we can look optimistically and enthusiastically at the next generation of young players and fans to carry forward a better code of acceptable conduct and less hateful attitudes.”