FARE partner Football Unites, Racism Divides and The Hub African-Caribbean Centre, with the support of Sheffield United FC, are organising a special event to mark the development of black football in Sheffield, from Arthur Wharton, who was the first black player to play in the English First Division back in February 1895 – for The Blades at Sunderland – up to the present day.
The forthcoming occasion is the Laurie Cunningham Memorial Dinner to take place at Sheffield United’s Millennium Suite, on Saturday 16th May 2009. The dinner is a joint venture between The Hub and FURD and guests of honour include FARE ambassador Paul Elliott MBE, Howard Gayle, Brian Deane and Keith Cunningham, brother of Laurie, who became the first black player to represent England at Under 21 level at Bramall Lane in April 1977.
Laurie Cunningham will probably always be best remembered as one of West Bromwich Albion's so-called Three Degrees, along with Brendon Batson and Cyrille Regis, in the late 1970s.
In addition, the dinner is a chance to mark the contribution of local black footballers and administrators at grassroots level, several of whom were privileged to meet Laurie when he visited The Hub African Caribbean Centre for a coffee with the youth workers and young footballers, immediately after the 1977 game at Bramall Lane.
More information on the event is available from FURD by contacting Howard Holmes on 00 44 114 255 3156.