Major new book from Mersey author charts the history of racism in football
Has the final whistle been blown on racism in football once and for all?
That’s the controversial question examined in a major new book – Pitch Black – by Merseyside author Emy Onuora, Co-editor of locally based football fanzine What’s the Score, who has lectured extensively in higher education on racism in sport.
Emy – brother of former professional footballer and Ethiopia Coach Iffy Onuora – has received advice on the various aspects of his career and commercial interests from Bootle-based business support specialists, Regenerus.
Pitch Black illustrates the rise to prominence of black footballers from the 1970s onwards from the perspective of the players themselves, and includes interviews with more than 20 famous names including John Barnes, Viv Anderson and Cyrille Regis.
The author charts the huge changes on the pitch since the early days, from the monkey chanting and banana throwing of 40 years ago to today’s game in which black players make up around 30 per cent of English professional footballers.
He also takes a critical look at the attitudes to racism of the FA, FIFA and the media over the last half century.
Emy commented: “What I have tried to do in Pitch Black is to put the spotlight on an issue which is of fundamental importance to the current generation of footballers and football fans.
“While these days players are largely free from the routine abuse they received from the stands in the 1970s, what is actually being done by the authorities to combat the more subtle and less overt manifestations of racism they face today?.”
Regenerus Chief Executive, Cate Murphy, said: “As one of our clients we wish Emy every success with this book which is a hugely important contribution to the debate about racism in football. It’s a crucial read for every true football fan.”
* Pitch Black – The Story of Black British Footballers is published by Bikeback Publishing at £16.99.