UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK
Scotland in UNISON


National Delegate Conference 17-20 June 2008

Hopes fulfilled as Leroy shows Racism the Red Card

Leroy Rosenior

Scotland and Show Racism the Red Card

by John Stevenson

Scotland's long association with SRTRC, the anti-racist educational charity which uses football as a focus, was reflected in support for the motion at Conference.

The annual Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) Fortnight of Action last year involved all of the Scotland's 42 professional football teams in anti-racist events at fixtures.

Stirling Council UNISON threw its weight behind the Fortnight of Action by sponsoring First Division newcomers, Stirling Albion. The branch agreed to commission an advertising board at the club, which will enforce a strong anti-racist message.

In 2006 South Ayrshire commissioned three advertising boards enforcing our anti-racist message as well as sponsoring the Ayr United v Alloa Athletic match and ball The boards were sited at Somerset Park,Ayr. Portland Park,Troon and Beechwood Park,Auchinleck.

And John Stevenson got his fotie taken with Hearts' Craig Levein and Mark De Vries who later defected to Dundee United

Leroy Rosenior spoke movingly about his early experiences and his fight against racism through "Show racism the Red Card” when he addressed conference on Wednesday.

Leroy started his football career at Fulham in 1980, where he quickly became aware of racism on and off the pitch. In fact, he puts most of the low points in his career down to racial discrimination in one form or another.

He went into coaching hoping to be a positive role model, believing a black football manager would help to break down the barriers.

"But I was wrong,” he says. "I left the game disillusioned with the attitude of many towards black and minority ethnic people and felt that to have any effect I needed to take a more hands-on approach.”

That was when Show Racism the Red Card got in touch with him. "I realised that this could be an opportunity for me, through my own experiences, to help change things.”This time his hopes were proved right. He feels he's made more progress in his work with the charity during the past year than in the whole of his professional career.

"This has made me even more determined to help eradicate racial discrimination in our society, mainly through our young people, and many other likeminded people.”

Leroy spoke about his own son coming to him and asking what gang he should be in, the black kids gang or the white kid's gang. "Start your own gang, I told him. And he did. I'm very proud of him for that!”

Leroy played for Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Charlton Athletic, Bristol City and West Ham United as a striker in the 1980s, as well as winning caps for Sierra Leone and the England Under-21 team.

He went on to become one of the few black football managers in England, and works frequently for the BBC as a pundit.