FA gives green light to a celebration of the Windrush community’s contribution to English sport
FA greenlights a celebration of the Windrush community’s contribution to English sport… which will see some of the country’s most prominent black sports figures, including Marcus Rashford and Ian Wright, invited to the event
- The FA is planning a star-studded event to celebrate the Windrush community
- Talks have been going on for weeks about the celebration at Wembley
- The A-List event is inspired by former Chelsea defender Paul Elliott CBE
The Football Association has given the green light for a star-studded celebration of the Windrush community’s contribution to English sport later this month.
Some of this country’s most prominent black sports figures, including current England internationals Marcus Rashford, Tyrone Mings, Raheem Sterling and Nikita Parris, will be invited to the landmark event at Wembley on June 22 – the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the original Windrush generation in Great Britain.
The FA has been in detailed talks regarding the plans for several weeks and chairman Debbie Hewitt is understood to be fully behind the A-list event, inspired by former Chelsea defender Paul Elliott, himself a descendant of Windrush. He has been at the forefront of the FA’s plans to host the evening.
Most of the guest list for the one night will be descended from the first Windrush generation.
Invitees from football include John Barnes, Ian Wright, Les Ferdinand, Hope Powell, Rio Ferdinand, Viv Anderson and Garth Crooks.
The FA has given the go-ahead for a star-studded celebration of the Windrush community’s contribution to English sport later this month, which will see a host of this country’s prominent black sporting figures, including Marcus Rashford (pictured), be invited to the historic event.
It is clear that FA president Debbie Hewitt is fully behind the A-list event due to take place on June 22
The FA are also looking to celebrate Windrush’s influence in other sports with former England cricketers Devon Malcolm and Norman Cowans, as well as track and field athletes Derek Redmond, Tessa Sanderson, Diane Modahl and Donna Fraser also invited.
England coach Gareth Southgate, a strong supporter of diversity and equality in English football, is also on the invitation list.
Former Chelsea defender Paul Elliott, himself a descendant of Windrush, has been at the forefront of the FA’s plans to host the night
Elliott told Mail Sport: ‘The resilience of the original Windrush community has been their genius, without it we wouldn’t have found our own inner strength.
“Their values and motivation continue through our lives. I was always told that I had to be twice as good as anyone else to even have a chance of making it in football because my parents went through that struggle. All of our Windrush descendants have had that shared experience.
“Now look at our club and national teams at every level, full of footballers of different races, religions and beliefs. I hope that the evening reflects the enormous significance and impact that the Windrush story has had on the sport in our country.’
On 22 June 1948, HMT Empire Windrush, carrying over 800 passengers from the Caribbean, docked at Tilbury in a moment that has shaped modern British society and sport.