Everton Fans Fund Anti-Racism Banner
A fan-funded anti-racism banner will be unveiled ahead of Everton’s home fixture against Manchester City this weekend (Saturday 28 September).
The banner is the culmination of a social media campaign led by fan group the County Road Bobblers to show solidarity with Moise Kean, a summer signing from Juventus who himself was a victim of racist abuse from the terraces during a fixture in Italy last season.
The banner will be unveiled ahead of the fixture (5.30pm kick-off) in the Howard Kendall Lower Gwladys Street end of Goodison Park sporting the image of Moise Kean and the words ‘No Al Razzismo’ (No to Racism).
David Wycherley, Lee Mitchell, Michael Cummins and Greg Neill, on behalf of fan group The County Road Bobblers, led the campaign to create the banner, making it clear that Everton stands up to racism.
The fan group sent a tweet from their account to raise the idea of the banner and it quickly went viral, resulting in a fundraising campaign which quickly smashed its initial £1,000 target.
Their efforts have been commended by Kick it Out and Moise Kean himself, who said: “The banner is beautiful because racism is horrendous and we have to fight against the racists. I’m going to repay my fans for all they do for me. I’m feeling even more motivated to repay them by training at 100 per cent and giving the maximum I can.”
Fans from across the globe have given more than £3,000 – enough to fund the banner and donate more than £1,000 each to Kick it Out and the Blues’ award-winning charity Everton in the Community.
The match will also mark the Club’s annual Kick It Out fixture for the 2019/20 season and Everton has also announced it will match the donation by fans to Kick It Out, further supporting the vital work done to promote and raise awareness of inclusion.
David Wycherley from The County Road Bobblers, said: “When Moise Kean signed for us, Everton fans were delighted. I had followed Kean’s progress in Serie A, and really felt for him when he faced racism on the pitch.
“I admired how well he dealt with it, especially for such a young player. It feels like he has come to the perfect place – The People’s Club. He won’t have to stand alone against racism – he now has hundreds of thousands of Blues around the world standing shoulder to shoulder with him.
“Evertonians have really come together to send this positive message, and the support from the Club has been amazing. We see our players as role models and heroes who represent us on the pitch, and we treat them as such.”
Scott McLeod, Head of Communications and Engagement at Everton, said: “Diversity and inclusion is embedded in everything we do as a Club and we fully support any initiatives from our fans that demonstrates the Club and fans stand together.
“It is so appropriate that the banner is being revealed for the first time this weekend, as it is our Kick it Out fixture. As a symbol of our solidarity with the fans, the Club will match-fund the money raised for Kick it Out.
“The message through this banner is loud and clear and we are proud that our fans have come together to amplify such an important anti-racism message.”
Keeley Baptista, Partnerships Manager from Kick it Out who will be at the match, added: “It’s fantastic to see the initiative that the County Road Bobblers fan group have undertaken, both in support of Moise Kean and to take a stand against racism.
“Everton Football Club have for many years been known as The People’s Club and the efforts made by these fans, supported by the Club, only strengthens that message.
“Football fans play such an important role in creating the positive and inclusive atmosphere at games, and through their support of both the players and manager help to make football accessible for everyone.
“Kick It Out is honoured that the County Road Bobblers have decided to donate funds raised through their crowdfunding campaign to the charity, and thanks both the fans and everyone at Everton Football Club for its continued support.”