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The National Football Museum is displaying football memorabilia from around the world to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of an anti-racism campaign.

'Culture Clash' celebrates the achievements of the 'Let's Kick Racism Out of Football' (or Kick It Out) campaign by displaying shirts, medals and photographs representing Asia, Africa and South America.

Hugh Hornby, head of Curatorial and Research at the museum, said: "Although this is the National Football Museum for England, it is good for us to connect with the rest of the world through objects, images and text. I think it is worth featuring countries from which overseas players have come. There is a positive message, particularly in the photos of the last World Cup from Japan and Korea."

Educate

He added that the exhibition aims to educate people about the history of British footballers from ethnic minorities, which he believes is longer and deeper than people realise. He also said that the display aims to raise awareness of different attitudes to footballers across the world through the design of artefacts and the habits and fashions of supporters.

Kick It Out have provided display panels which tell the story of black footballers since 1886 till the modern day. One described the plight of Arthur Wharton, the first Black footballer in Britain, who played in goal for Preston North End in the early 20th century and off the pitch was a miner. However, in a stark contrast to the earnings of today's footballers, he died in poverty and was never remembered until after his death. Another tells the story of Albert Johanneson, a black South African who played on the wing for Leeds United. He was a target for racist abuse.

Progress

Mr Hornby said: "Finding out about the problems faced by Arthur Wharton and Albert Johanneson underlines the progress that has been made but also makes visitors appreciate that the roots of racism go very deep and are therefore hard to tackle."

Also on display is an Iraqi national team shirt, shown in the hope that football can bring together nations regardless of the political climate.

Photographs from the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan are on display to celebrate the first ever competition in Asia. African art inspired by Brazilian legend Pelé is on show as the exhibition looks forward to the first ever World Cup hosted by Africa in 2010, when the Jules Rimet trophy will be handed to the victors in South Africa.

No end date of the exhibition has been finalised and interest has recently been heightened by the incidents of racism in Spain.

 

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