Tuesday 6 December 2016

'It would be a betrayal to all of the Africans' - Former Liverpool player turns down MBE nomination

Harry Clarke

Published 11/08/2016 | 10:27

The victorious Liverpool team parade the European Cup on Merseyside after they had beaten Real Madrid 1-0 in Paris, with the goalscorer Alan Kennedy, right, and Howard Gayle holding the Cup
The victorious Liverpool team parade the European Cup on Merseyside after they had beaten Real Madrid 1-0 in Paris, with the goalscorer Alan Kennedy, right, and Howard Gayle holding the Cup

Former Liverpool player Howard Gayle has revealed he turned down an MBE nomination because it would "be a betrayal to all of the Africans who have lost their lives, or who have suffered as a result of the Empire of Britain".

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Gayle made history in 1977 when he became the first black player to play for Liverpool and he is currently involved with the Show Racism The Red Card campaign where his work led to a nomination for a knighthood from the Queen of England.

However, Gayle posted a Facebook message outlining the reasons why he will not accept the nomination.

 

Here is his post in full.

Most of you who are on my FB page are aware of the work that I do tackling racism and the work I do for Show Racism A Red Card. And for that work yesterday I was nominated for a MBE. Which unfortunately I had to decline the nomination for the reason that my ancestors would be turning in their graves after how Empire and Colonialism had enslaved them.  This is a decision that I have had to make and there will be others who may feel different and would enjoy the attraction of being a Member of the British Empire and those 3 letters after their name, but I feel that It would be a betrayal to all of the Africans who have lost their lives , or who have suffered as a result of Empire.

 

Gayle left Liverpool for Birmingham in 1982 after loan spells with Fulham and Newcastle. Although he never nailed down a regular spot at Anfield, he did receive a European Cup winners medal for being an unused substitute in the 1981 final when Liverpool beat Real Madrid.

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