THE mum of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence has been honoured for her human rights campaigning by a North East football charity.
Former Sunderland AFC defender Gary Bennett was among ex-professionals who paid tribute to the Doreen Lawrence at the Show Racism the Red Card (SRRC) 15th anniversary celebrations.
After her 18-year-old son Stephen was murdered in a racial attack in south-east London in 1993, she dedicated her life to securing justice for the victims of racially motivated crime and police misconduct.
Receiving her Hall of Fame award from ex-England international Sol Campbell, she said: “I am usually quite a shy person and I sometimes find things like this a little overwhelming.
“I don’t seek out these awards and recognition. I have just tried to seek justice for my son and encourage ambition in young people.”
The North East-based organisation also launched its new magazine, featuring an interview with £13million Black Cat’s signing Asamoah Gyan, controversially on loan to Al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates, at the ceremony in the grand surroundings of the Houses of Parliament, London.
Ged Grebby, SRRC chief executive, said the organisation had a long way to go before it kicked racism out of the beautiful game, but it was determined to continue its fight.
“Our campaign needs to continually move forward to get racism out of our society,” he said.
“We don’t believe that we have won the war against racism.
“We have just won a few battles.”
Retired player Gary, who made 369 appearances for Sunderland in the 1980s and 90s, is now head coach with SRRC, as well as a radio pundit.
“The workshops that we run highlight issues such as Islamophobia,” he said. “It is very good to educate and make people realise what racism is all about.”