Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Let 'Empire' fall from honours, says Liverpool's first black player

Published 07/10/2016

Howard Gayle in his Blackburn Rovers playing days
Howard Gayle in his Blackburn Rovers playing days

The first black footballer to play for Liverpool has suggested the word "Empire" be removed from honours titles after he turned down an MBE.

Toxteth-born Howard Gayle, 58, was offered the gong earlier this year for his work with Show Racism the Red Card.

At the time he said that his "ancestors would be turning in their graves after how Empire and Colonialism had enslaved them" if he did not decline.

He has told the Victoria Derbyshire programme that the honour - Member of the British Empire - should have its name altered so that there is no reference to "Empire", BBC News said.

The broadcaster said Gayle told the programme: "It was against my values. If they want to be inclusive and accepting of black people around the UK and the Commonwealth, then they need to change the title of it - as it's an exclusive club being an MBE or OBE or one of those gongs.

"A lot of people around the world contacted me to say they accepted my decision and that the title of MBE did rankle."

In August he wrote on Facebook: "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 also played for Birmingham City, Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers.

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph