Successful charity football match shows racism the red card - The Evesham Observer

Successful charity football match shows racism the red card

Evesham Editorial 20th Jul, 2017   0

‘SHOW racism the red card’ was the message at a successful sports day event in Evesham.

The annual event, organised by Growers United FC with the support of Wychavon District Council, took place at Evesham United FC’s ground earlier this month to raise funds for a number of charities.

Since its inception in 2012, Growers United has raised more than £100,000 for charities including Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Cancer Research UK.

The two day event saw football fans treated to a highly competitive nine-a-side football tournament that brought 24 teams to Evesham. Teams even came from as far afield as Lincolnshire, Lancashire and Dorset to battle it out for the Confederation Cup 2017.

The eventual winners were R&L Holt from Offenham who beat local rivals Sandfields Farm.

The majority of teams represented various horticultural businesses, as one of the main objectives of the Growers United FC event is increasing the level of cooperation between local growers.

Following the tournament final, a combined Growers United team played against a Show Racism the Red Card XI that included ex-players such as Liverpool legend Alan Kennedy, Trevor Sinclair, Mark Walters, Ritchie Humphreys, Terry Angus and Gary Bennett.

Bal Padda of Vicarage Nurseries, who has been the driving force behind Growers United, said: “We started Growers United FC in 2012, with the key aims being community cohesion and to combat all forms of racism, xenophobia and prejudice. Since last year’s referendum, this has become increasingly high on our agenda. The match against the Show Racism the Red Card Legends aimed to unite our community through football, food and a dance or two.

“Migrant workers are a big part of the farming and local community and whatever we can do to bring people together has to be good. We won’t let hate be part our community and our football tournament is our way of being proactive in our approach to this issue whilst also raising funds for our chosen charities. I would like to thank all the legends for playing, and for making the day so memorable for those who attended.

“Vale of Evesham growers depend on an international workforce and that workforce is increasingly the target of racist abuse. Some companies have even reported that it’s a factor in staff leaving the UK to go and work elsewhere. This worrying trend needs to be challenged and stopped, and football offers a means of doing this.

Growers United has always stood up to prejudice, as well as promoting healthy lifestyles and careers within the horticulture and food processing sector.”

Wychavon District Council Chairman, Coun Liz Eyre, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the event and fully support the values and aims of Growers United. Challenging prejudice and racism by bringing people together to compete in sport is simple and very effective.

“It was humbling to see so many different nationalities all involved in a common goal.”


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