On Monday 10th October 2022, we held a fantastic evening of celebration and insight for Black History Month at Cheshire FA HQ.
With some stellar guests, and allies from across the County and The Football Association network, it was great to see so many connections being made, and stories being shared. We know and understand as a County, the true value of learning from individual’s lived experiences, and the impact that can have on changing perspectives. There were so many inspiring stories shared during the evening.
Cheshire FA Board Member, Kimiyo Rickett, welcomed guests and introduced CEO, Steve Smithies, who gave guests an insight into the work Cheshire FA are doing across the County to ensure football is a place for all. Then it was over to Kevin Yusuf Coleman from the BBC, who delivered a quick-fire thought-provoking session that got guests working in groups talking about how we can use the Black past and Black present, to shape a better Black future.
Dr Colin King MBE was next up as he gave an incredibly moving talk about his journey through life, education and the challenges faced – outlining how the deeper meaning of Black History Month has a huge role to play in ensuring that Black talent is not lost.
Then it was time for some food and our guests were in for a treat, as our friends from D’s Rice ‘n’ Peas provided a West Indian buffet that went down a storm. Check them out.
After the break, it was over to another special guest, this time friend of Cheshire FA and ex-Manchester United and South Africa international footballer, Quinton Fortune, who spoke in depth about his life, his journey from playing in his home country to La Liga and the Premier League. Guests were blown away by Quinton’s story, which was told with great personality and humour.
Tajean Hutton from Kick it Out then shared a piece that has been developed by KIO working in partnership with Cheshire FA CEO, Steve Smithies, that was a recorded discussion about the challenges faced in football and how we can overcome those barriers.
Steve Smithies closed the night by thanking all who were in attendance for their support, friendship and allyship on what was a special night of celebration of Black History Month.