Millwall FC hosted a unique football match on Monday 23 May 2016, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) campaign. The match saw a Parliamentary team of MPs – including the SNP’s Owen Thompson MP for Midlothian – take on former professional footballers at the Den, home of Millwall FC.
Ex-professional footballers from a wide range of clubs, including Watford FC, Nottingham Forrest FC, Fulham FC, West Ham United FC and Millwall FC, returned to the pitch to play the Parliamentary team and to show their support for Show Racism the Red Card.
Former Nottingham Forest striker Jason Lee, ex-Birmingham City centre-back Darren Purse, former Wimbledon striker Marcus Gayle and ex-Watford midfielder Micha Hyde all pulled their boots on to help promote the anti-racism education work of Show Racism the Red Card.
The game attracted attention from MPs from all major political parties, with a squad of 25 taking the opportunity to pit their skills against the select eleven of former professional players. Among those that took to the pitch were Owen Thompson MP, his SNP Westminster Group colleague Neil Gray MP, Labour’s Ian Murray MP and the Conservative David Burrows MP.
The event celebrated the 20th anniversary of Show Racism the Red Card and also served to raise awareness of the campaign.
Ged Grebby, Chief Executive of Show Racism the Red Card, said:
“The campaign has a great relationship with Millwall FC and they have continued to show great support for Show Racism the Red Card season after season. The campaign has been grateful for the continued support from MPs and professional footballers over its twenty-year history, and it is fantastic that we can run an event to say thank you, while also raising awareness that the campaign still needs the same support as it did in 1996.”
Owen Thompson MP commented:
“It was great to play against so many legendary footballers and to do so for such a good cause as Show Racism the Red Card. It’s important that we continue to support this campaign, to show that racism has no place in society. The final score may have been 6-2 to the ex-pros on the day, but there were no losers at this game.”