News — December 1, 2012 12:31

Howard Gayle To Speak On ‘Tackling Racism In Football’ – 2nd December In Liverpool

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Liverpool Legend Howard Gayle will be speaking on ‘Tackling Racism in Football’ tomorrow at the North West Unite Against Facism Regional Conference in Liverpool. With football hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons, and the dark element shrouding the beautiful game, Gayle offers a much needed insight on tackling the current issues in the game.

 

Howard Gayle’s story is an inspiring one, and one which paved the way for a generation of black footballers.

Gayle who won the European Cup with Reds in 1981 was the first black player to play for Liverpool Football Club. A local lad who was born in Toxeth and grew up in Norris Green, Gayle rose through the ranks to represent the greatest club in the world.

Gayle’s opportunity came when in 1977 when he was invited for a trial by Liverpool, with Bob Paisley in attendance.

An impressive trial nearly turned to disappointed as the young 19 year old turned his ankle at the trial.Recalling that trial Gayle said:

”I beat three or four players and then had a shot which came back off the bar, before it bounced I volleyed it in from the edge of the box and as I turned I could see the coaches watching.

“I turned my ankle and was in a lot of pain but carried on playing. I showed them just how much it meant to me.”

The trial was a success as Paisley offered Gayle his first professional contract.

Gayle’s finest hour came in the second leg of the European Cup Semi- Final against Bayern Munich in 1981 when Gayle ran the defenders ragged with his blistering pace and skills. Coming on for the injured Dalglish, the Bayern Munich defenders could not cope with the young winger Gayle, and repeatedly fouled him throughout the game.

With players returning from injury for the European Cup Final in 1981, Gayle settled for a place on the bench. But his impact in the Semi Final against Bayern was undeniable.

A pioneer and being Liverpool’s first black player, Gayle certainly paved the way for a generations of black players to go on and have great careers at Liverpool Football Club.

Gayle was named in the 100 players that shook the Kop, his impact at Liverpool was enough to put him at number 84.


The Conference runs from 10.30am until 4.30pm and takes place:

Sunday 2nd December 2012

Unite the union North West Regional Office,

Jack Jones House,

2 Churchill Way,

Liverpool,

L3 8EF

Other speakers at the Conference will include Steve Rotheram MP and Roy Bentham (Spirit Of Shankly).

For more information please contact northwest@uaf.org.uk



 

 

 

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