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Ex-club manager lauds William for tackling racism in football as he receives MBE

Chris Ramsey said if William can see the problem needs addressing then others will follow.

Football coach Chris Ramsey with his MBE medal (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Football coach Chris Ramsey with his MBE medal (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent

The Duke of Cambridge’s recent criticism of racism in football is needed to help tackle the issue, a former club manager has said.

Chris Ramsey, who managed Queens Park Rangers in 2015, said if William can see the problem needs addressing then others will follow.

Mr Ramsey’s praise for the duke’s comments came after William presented him with an MBE for services to football and diversity in sport during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony.

The football executive, who is now QPR’s head of coaching, said: “It’s good to see there are people with a high profile talking it up now, which will mean people will listen.

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Chris Ramsey is made an MBE by the Duke of Cambridge (Yui Mok/PA)

“If someone at his level can see it, it’s important everyone follows suit and it takes someone of that level to say what he said to move things forward.”

In recent months there have been a number of incidents where players, from club to international level, have suffered racial abuse including England stars during their Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria played in the country’s capital Sofia in October.

Speaking about the abuse directed at players William, who is president of the Football Association, said during a visit to a north London club in September: “We’ve got to do something about it. I’m fed up with it. I’m so bored of it.”

Bulgaria received a sanction following the incident and were ordered to play two matches behind closed doors – one suspended for two years.

Mr Ramsey added: “Look at the sanctions that have been given, the sanctions are nowhere near what they should be in order to make change.”

The coach, who during his playing career turned out for Bristol City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Swindon Town as a defender, went on to manage England Under-20s and enjoyed more than 10 years working in Tottenham’s academy as well as being first team coach at White Hart Lane.

He added: “It’s always nice to receive an award like this, I didn’t know I was achieving. Obviously you have a life of work and people pay attention to you when you don’t know – so for me and my family it’s been quite a surprise, but a pleasant surprise.”

Speaking about work to tackle racism, he added: “I think the work we’re doing we’ve only scratched the surface, and I think people are working hard to highlight the problem, but obviously I think there has to be some level of radical action, because we’ve tried evolving through it and it hasn’t worked as quickly as we’d have liked it to.”

Also recognised during the investiture ceremony was broadcaster Dan Snow who was awarded an MBE for his work appearing in historical shows like Battlefield Britain, Dan Snow’s Norman Walks and Filthy Cities.

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Dan Snow with his MBE (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

During the summer the broadcaster skippered one of eight yachts in an Isle of Wight charity regatta in aid of good causes supported by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Snow said after the ceremony: “I was also able to just catch up on his progress about sailing because he did a big charity sailing regatta that I was involved in this summer, and I was just checking that he was training for next year.”

Asked if William said he had been training, the broadcaster replied: “No he didn’t. He has not been training for next year. But you know, I’ll let him off. He’s a pretty busy guy.”

Speaking about the award he added: “This is an honour, it’s amazing. In a way, it’s someone saying thanks and it’s really nice, completely unexpected.”

Acclaimed artist Glenn Brown, famed for drawing on art history for his grotesque yet fascinating figures, was made a CBE.

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Glenn Brown with his CBE (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

After the ceremony he said: “Painting and the arts are generally very important to British culture, so it’s very nice to take this award to help support that idea, that the arts mean a great deal to Britain both economically and socially.”

Commenting on his brief chat with William, he added: “There are some great paintings in the palace here. He just asked what medium I used and he said he doesn’t recognise an awful lot of paintings in the palace but there’s an awful lot in here to remember the names of.

“I’m trying to make paintings for the 21st century but I’m using paintings from different periods like the 16th to the 19th centuries and 20th century as well, and combining them to make something interesting.

“Rather than painting landscapes and portraits, my subject is the museum and art history. It doesn’t limit me in any way because there are millions of paintings in the world for me to draw upon and millions of subject matters.”

PA

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