Leroy joins Hammers in fight against racism

Former Hammers forward Leroy Rosenior has hailed the Club’s unique approach to tackling discrimination
Former Hammers forward Leroy Rosenior hailed the Club’s unique approach to tackling discrimination, after he paid a special visit to Barking-based Northbury Primary School in conjunction with the West Ham United Foundation.   

The Foundation has long been committed to supporting Show Racism the Red Card’s anti-discrimination campaign and has now teamed up with ex-pro Rosenior, alongside Barking and Dagenham Council to launch the new Stop the Hate campaign.

The initiative focuses on delivering engaging anti-racism education workshops in schools throughout Barking and Dagenham and using the gravitas of former professional footballers as role models in order to really drive home key messages.

Rosenior, who scored some 23 goals for the Hammers in his three-year stint at the Boleyn Ground, was quick to praise West Ham’s forward-thinking approach where combatting prejudice is concerned. 

“There has always been a strong link with communities and football clubs, but what West Ham is doing in this area is unique,” he confirmed.  

“It’s about embracing cultures and West Ham has always done that. The Club has always been positive with supporting black players and on the coaching staff. I think clubs are realising that they have a big responsibility. 

“West Ham know they have a duty [to the community] and that’s why I’m so delighted they have such a forward-thinking Board of Directors and a forward thinking organisation. It’s not just to tick boxes. 

“I find that really inspiring and I think our job as a football club isn’t just to get fans through the door and buy players, it’s to inspire people to do great things in the local community and that’s what this project is all about.”

Steve Goodsell, Show Racism the Red Card Campaign Manager, was delighted to see the programme launched to new heights. 

“Show Racism the Red Card has always enjoyed fantastic support from West Ham United, but this new joint project takes us to another level. 

“We’re combining the knowledge and expertise of our Educators, the Foundation coaches and of course ex-West Ham Legend, Leroy Rosenior, to help children in the area stay safe and lead healthy lifestyles. 

“We are grateful to Barking and Dagenham Council for lending their support to this much needed initiative.”

Barking and Dagenham Councillor Darren Rodwell applauded the Hammers’ contribution, insisting that they are setting the example for other football clubs.     

“I think it’s massively important for football clubs to tackle racism and West Ham has led the way for many years,” he confirmed.  

“It’s always been a family club and what’s great about families is they’re always expanding. That’s what you’ve seen in the borough today, with over 130 different cultures now living in Barking and Dagenham and it’s great to have West Ham as a family member and ally and saying to our young people, ‘We may be different, but actually we’re all the same, we’re one big family.’” 

“With West Ham being such a multi-cultural club, the players, the fans, it absolutely makes sense that we all link up and carry on the great success we’ve had over the years”

The launch event came as part of a wider string of programmes with SRtRC and Barking and Dagenham Council, which will see the Foundation engaging with a number of schools across the borough. 

Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) works tirelessly to deliver anti-racism education in schools through creative and engaging exploration of the subject. Schools report that following SRtRC led workshops pupils show a much greater understanding of the issues around racism and discrimination. SRtRC have been a charity since 1996 working with 50,000 young people each year.