Kerr reveals race hate mail20 January 2006

Ex Republic of Ireland Coach, Brian Kerr, has revealed that he received racist hate mail during his time in charge.

Kerr disclosed, “I had to put up with a series of fairly vile abusive letters. That was because I had Chris Hughton, a very Irish black man on the staff, and I had black players in the team, like Clinton Morrison and Steven Reid.”

Kerr lost the Republic job in October after the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup finals.

“It was the first time I've really come across it up front and up close to me. It was vile stuff, but it was sad really, and it just shows you that there's some twisted minds around the place.

The letters came from different sources, but names and addresses were scarce, as you can imagine. I passed that stuff onto the Guards (police).”

“It just shows you the mentality that can be around the place, instead of seeing the gifts these players and coaches had and how they had done a fantastic job and will continue to. They're as Irish as Irish can be. It emphasised for me how narrow-minded people can be, but also the responsibility of people in sport to rid ourselves of that type of thinking.”

Engaging communities
The former Irish boss made the revelation ahead of the launch of the Brian Kerr Intercontinental League, a six-week tournament involving teams from Ireland's ethnic communities and organised by FARE partner Sport Against Racism in Ireland.