Boys playing football

Ex-West Ham player visits Brighton Traveller site with Kick It Out

Last week,  England C Team coach and ex-West Ham player Anwar Uddin MBE visited St Michael’s Way Traveller site in East Sussex, along with anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out for football games and knowledge-sharing with young Irish Travellers.

During the well-attended visit, the young Travellers turned out in the kits of their favourite teams, with the former professional footballer and Kick It Out kindly donating footballs, goalposts and other equipment.

Anwar spent time answering questions about his career, shared photographs and videos of his personal highlights (including a cup final at Wembley Stadium!) and even went through some of his training drills.

Before wrapping up an exciting and inspiring afternoon, the group enjoyed a football match which ended with a nail-biting penalty shootout finish!

Future plans include match day and behind the scenes visits to Falmer Stadium, the home of Brighton & Hove Albion, as well as a chance to play on the team’s state-of-the-art 4G training pitch.

In partnership with Friends, Families and Travellers, the football session marked the first time that Kick It Out have visited a Traveller site. Formed in 1993, the charity aims to end discrimination in football through educational programmes for players and fans alike.

Produced by Travellers’ Times, a video of the afternoon can be seen here:

Kick It Out are keen to work more closely with Traveller and Romany communities up and down the country, and if you know of a site wishing to get involved then get in touch here.

Speaking about the football session, Tommy Buck, Projects Coordinator at Friends, Families and Travellers said:

“Our youth outreach team has been working with local young people for a number of years, making positive impacts with mental and physical health through football.

Meeting Anwar and working with Kick It Out was a great opportunity to meet learn an ex-professional footballer and learn how to make a career out of sport from someone who has lived it for real.”

Anwar Uddin at Kick It Out also added:

“This is the first time we have had the chance to work with young Irish Travellers. We received such a warm welcome at the site and learned as much from the community as they learned from us!

We can’t wait to get back and expand on what was a very positive afternoon.”

Notes for Editor

About Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT)

Friends, Families and Travellers is a leading national charity that works to end racism and discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people and to protect the right to pursue a nomadic way of life.

Media Contact

John Henry Phillips, Communications and Campaigns Lead

Tel: 07752 467 752 Email: [email protected]

Relevant Resources

‘Ex-West Ham Players Visits Brighton Traveller Site with Kick It Out’. Travellers Times. October 2022. View article. 

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