Kids learn to kick out racism

Former Newcastle player Olivier Bernard and Morpeth Town Chairman Jim Smith, far right, with staff and young people from the Choysez organisation at the Show Racism the Red Card talk at Craik Park.

Former Newcastle player Olivier Bernard and Morpeth Town Chairman Jim Smith, far right, with staff and young people from the Choysez organisation at the Show Racism the Red Card talk at Craik Park.

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CHILDREN from across Northumberland were informed about efforts to tackle racism in football at events in Morpeth.

Former Newcastle United defender Olivier Bernard visited Morpeth Town’s Craik Park ground to talk about the Show Racism the Red Card campaign with young people from underprivileged homes who are supported by the Choysez organisation.

Bernard, whose other clubs included Lyon, Southampton and Glasgow Rangers, also gave an intriguing insight into his career and experiences during a two-hour question and answer session.

Morpeth Town Chairman Jim Smith said: “This was a wonderful opportunity to listen to Olivier’s experiences and in particular those views associated with helping to stamp out racism in football.

“Part of our Sporting Partnership with Choysez involves the use of our facilities on a daily basis as a classroom and headquarters, which enables the youngsters to do a range of outdoor activities including hiking, orienteering, cycling and football.

“The organisation will also establish boys and girls Under 16s teams that will commence next season.”

Bernard was joined by former Newcastle player John Anderson, ex-Middlesbrough player Dean Gordon and former Leicester City player and Morpeth Town player/manager Trevor Benjamin at County Hall to answer questions from 70 school pupils and lead activities looking at the issues of stereotyping and discrimination.

The children also watched Show Racism the Red Card’s latest DVD.

l For the second time this season, Morpeth Town was the only club to have their home match postponed in the whole of the Northern League programme on Saturday.

Town were due to be at home to North Shields in a promotion six-pointer and a large crowd was expected, but the game was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

Chairman Jim Smith said: “Something urgent needs to be done with our pitch. We have been looking at drainage work for two years and without doubt this must be addressed in the coming close season.”

Morpeth are set to play Horden CW at home on Saturday, kick-off 3pm, and all efforts are being made to get the game played.