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DAVID HOLDSWORTH: Anti-racism campaigns will only work if clubs get tough

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: October 26, 2012

David Holdsworth 6

Lincoln City manager David Holdsworth

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This week football will be doing what we can to highlight the Kick It Out campaign in football.

The campaign has been running for several years and I believe it has gone a long way to making the atmosphere at football matches in England far more tolerant.

The good work done by organisations like this in England makes what happened in Serbia recently even more sickening.

Different countries have different cultures and attitudes, but I was disgusted by the way the England Under-21 team was abused in their European Championship qualifier. Quite simply, you should never treat another human being in such a way.

The actions of these people are akin to the sort of debased folk who wash up on Jeremy Kyle, they are not football fans.

It is really sad that they can be so far behind the curve.

I have never considered race an issue. Growing up in the East End of London you are submerged in a multi-cultural society that is a melting pot of different societies and cultures.

But my early days of football were watching from the terraces of West Ham, and that was a tough place to watch a game from.

It was not a pleasant atmosphere and the abuse and ill-feeling that could occur was incredibly savage at times.

In my early playing days it was present, players like John Barnes and Luther Blissett suffered a fair bit of abuse. However, over the years I feel we have moved on because we have been brave enough to tackle it.

I believe we all have a role to play. We will pull on the t-shirts, wear the badges and will do our best to raise the messages, but it is up the clubs as well to make a stand.

I remember the worst incident of racist abuse I ever saw was when I was manager of Gretna. For the sake of people involved I will not reveal names.

However, we were at an away game and I had a young black player who had joined us from London. He was racially abused during the course of the game and it was shocking.

I remember putting my arm round him at the end of the match and trying to help him, but the journey home was tense and upsetting.

Thankfully, our chairman was not willing to stand for it. He got in contact with the club involved and demanded they take action.

You cannot ignore these incidents.

People in authority have to take a stand and I think that's why it is essential that we don't just pay lip service to these campaigns, but do our best to make sure we are acting on any problems.

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  • blindimp  |  October 26 2012, 3:21PM

    WELL SAID DH. WHATEVER HAPPENS TO YOU AT THE IMPS, YOU'LL GET MY RESPECT BECAUSE OF THIS ONE ARTICLE.

    |   7
  • hosm_imp  |  October 26 2012, 1:01PM

    Concentrate on the Imps !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    |   -6

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