Liverpool’s first black player declines to accept MBE

Date published: Friday 12th August 2016 8:50

The first black footballer to play for Liverpool has turned down an MBE because he says to accept it would be "a betrayal" to Africans.

Howard Gayle: Played for Reds, Blackburn, Birmingham and Sunderland

The first black footballer to play for Liverpool has turned down an MBE because he says to accept it would be “a betrayal” to Africans.

Toxteth-born Howard Gayle, 58, said he was offered the honour for his work with Show Racism the Red Card.

But he explained on his Facebook page that his “ancestors would be turning in their graves after how Empire and Colonialism had enslaved them” if he did not decline.

He said: “This is a decision that I have had to make and there will be others who may feel different and would enjoy the attraction of being a Member of the British Empire and those 3 letters after their name, but I feel that It would be a betrayal to all of the Africans who have lost their lives, or who have suffered as a result of Empire.”

Gayle also played for Birmingham, Sunderland and Blackburn among others.

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