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back then. An example of that would be the BBC TV character Alf Garnett.

In the 1980s, Stamford Bridge was a hotbed of racism. The National Front sold their magazines in the Fulham Road and used to wait in the pub opposite to learn the team selection. If they were all white, the National Fronters' used to walk across and buy the tickets. Our technical director, Gwyn Williams, introduced the first black kid, one Paul Canoville, a pacy young winger. His first experience was when Chelsea was playing at Selhurst Park. As a sub, he was warming up and had bananas thrown at him. The following week he made his debut at Stamford Bridge and got a lot of abuse. At the end of the game I went on the pitch and walked off with my arm round his shoulder. It is a lot different today, although it has been a long tortuous journey. Slowly, things started to change. I employed a black chartered accountant and the planning consultant who masterminded the Battle of the Bridge, was a brilliant black lady from West Africa, one Margaret Casly-Heyford, whose siblings included Joe the fashion designer. I remember once, over lunch, asking her how she had succeeded and she said it was quite simple, her dad had said: "You are going into a white world, you can either sit on your backside and bellyache or go out and be whiter than them" she did and she was magnificent. Thirty years on, it is a different world; we have black Olympic stars, black managers, black coaches, black football players. Away from football, we have black MPs, ministers, doctors, police chiefs, administrators, TV presenters and start. Today the furore is of a black verbal abuse -not to be condoned or tolerated in the least -but meanwhile let us appreciate the progress that has been made. The day I took over Leeds United, I called a staff meeting and addressed them as follows "colour, race, creed, religion or culture will be no bar to your advancement on merit. Equally it will be no excuse for incompetence, laziness or failure". Equal rights brings equal responsibility and obligations, you can't have one without the other. What a difference a week makes. Last Tuesday we were celebrating an unbeaten run of seven games, albeit with three draws. Now it is "two points from the last nine". How quickly things can change in football. However, we've had only had one defeat in eight games. Now it is up to Neil to get us back to our winning ways. Is too much to hope for that our name will be in the hat for the next round? It will be very welcome...

Proud supporters

of Leeds United



53 Dolly Lane, Leeds, LS9 7TU Telephone:-0113 2481255


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