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Exeter City’s first black player backs race-equality game this Saturday

27 October 2014

Luton fixture is designated OGOC fixture

Exeter City’s first ever black player, Steve Stacey, has welcomed the race-equality theme of this Saturday’s designated One Game One Community home match against Luton this Saturday (1st November, kick-off 3pm). 

Steve, an Afro-American full back who joined the Grecians in 1971 and played 59 League games over two seasons, now lives in Australia but has fond memories of his time in Devon.

“I was the first black player at Exeter but did not suffer any racial abuse at any time,” recalls Steve.  “However City’s anti-racism work is a very noble cause.  I very much admire what the Club is doing to combat discrimination.  Sport transcends race and colour – it’s the binding glue of humanity.”

Saturday’s game is part of the City’s contribution to Kick It Out’s ‘Season of Action’ aimed at promoting equality and inclusion across all levels of the game.  The day’s activities have been organised by the Supporters Trust’s One Game One Community Group.

The players and officials will warm up and walk out wearing Kick it Out t-shirts which will then be handed out to the crowd.  Leaflets and stickers will be distributed and special features will appear in the official matchday programme including a full length interview with Steve Stacey.

The initiative has also been backed by City’s One Game One Community Ambassador, first team player Ollie Watkins.  “I am delighted to take on the role of ambassador,” said Ollie.  “Football can play a really positive role in bringing people together and offering opportunities for all.  Race equality is an important part of this.”

Ollie has already been active in his role, visiting the local Exeter Mosque as part of an Exeter City Football in the Community (FITC) initiative.  FITC are about to start a series of sports workshops for the Mosque Youth Club.  Members of the Youth Club have been invited to watch Saturday’s game.

This all fits in with Kick It Out’s determination to strengthen their message at grassroots and community level.  Roisin Wood, Director of Kick It Out, says: “We need to banish all forms of discrimination, prejudiced attitudes and abusive behaviour from football.”

Exeter City’s One Game One Community Group is keen to involve more people in their work.  To get in touch with the Group please email kickitout@exetercityfc.co.uk.

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