Football stars cheer on youngsters for their fight against racism

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EXCITED youngsters were cheered on by football stars as they were honoured for their work fighting racism.

Pupils at Thornhill School, Sunderland, were among the winners at an awards ceremony organised by charity Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC).

The group was invited to the event at Old Trafford – the home of Manchester United – after creating a board game championing the charity’s cause.

Gav Sutherland, campaign manager with the charity, said: “They seemed to really enjoy it. There were eight in the group, but only four could make it down.

“They came first in the Year Seven to Nine artwork category.

“The panel of judges were really impressed with the game and we love it. We’ve been playing it in our lunch break.”

Stars at the event, which took place earlier this month, included Red Devils goalkeepers Anders Lindegaard and Ben Amos, along with former players Frank Sinclair, Howard Gayle, Dave Bennett, Gary Bennett, Earl Barrett and Efe Sodje.

Other presenters included Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean, Gordon Taylor and Martin Buchan, from the Professional Footballers’ Association, BBC sports presenter Manish Bhasin, comedian Justin Moorhouse, and members of rock band Sonic Boom Six.

Shaun Johnson, managing director of North East-based print firm Potts Print, which sponsored the award won by the Wearside pupils, said: “Well done to all of this year’s winners.

“We are proud to have worked with SRtRC for over 10 years and to have been involved with the competition once again.”

More than 600 schools from across the country took part in the competition, which saw youngsters of all ages produce artwork, creative writing, film and music projects with an anti-racism theme, having worked with SRtRC resources in the classroom.

Ged Grebby, chief executive of SRtRC, said: “A total of 106 young people produced 24 winning entries in eight different categories this year.

“This year’s awards ceremony was one of the best ever.

“It was great to see young people rewarded for their outstanding anti-racism work.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho