West Ham United youth team visit Port of Tilbury to celebrate Black History Month

Kiana GreenanGeneral News

The Port of Tilbury welcomed the West Ham United youth team for an educational visit as part of Black History Month and Windrush75. The Port of Tilbury was the first arrival point for the HMT Empire Windrush on 22 June 1948 and this year’s 75th anniversary was celebrated in Tilbury with members of the local community including relatives of people who were aboard the Windrush.

The aspiring young players took part in a guided tour of the cruise terminal and the landing stage where the first of the Windrush generation arrived in the UK from the Caribbean. The tours were led by the Tilbury Riverside Project and local historian expert Sue Yates. [NB: image of the youth team in the cruise terminal included with this release. Credit @WestHamUnited].

West Ham United became the first high level professional football club to play three black players, Clyde Best, Ade Coker and Clive Charles. The club continues to pride itself on its inclusive and diverse values to this day.

Commenting on the importance of this visit, Paul Dale, Asset and Site Director said: “We were honoured to host the West Ham United youth football team at the Port of Tilbury as part of their educational understanding of the Windrush Generation during Black History Month. For us at Forth Ports, it is not only just about the past, it is about opening the doors to a more inclusive understanding for the future.”

 Jamie Bather, West Ham Academy’s Head of Education said: “Here at the Academy, we truly value the importance of Education for our players and being able to support and contribute to their holistic and rounded development is our goal. We empower our players to be ambitious with their academic studies alongside their football development to be able to achieve their potential both on and off the pitch. 

 “Our U12s are currently completing an education project with the Premier League, which is focused on the Christmas Truce, Windrush75 & Walter Tull; being able to visit Tilbury Docks and spark the players imagination by bringing to life the stories of the Windrush generations has been a fantastic experience for our players and staff.”

Henry Brown, West Ham Under 12’s player added: “This visit today has inspired me to want study History as a GCSE subject because I have really enjoyed learning about the history of Tilbury Docks and the Windrush generation.

Black History Month was first celebrated in the UK in 1987 and is now marked annually across the month of October. The month allows everyone, including businesses, to share, learn and celebrate black history and culture.

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