Howard Gayle is an English, ex-professional footballer who has played for many top English teams . He began his career in 1977 with Liverpool FC and was notably the team’s first ever black player. During his time at Anfield, he was loaned to both Fulham and Newcastle United, after this he joined Birmingham City in search of first team football. Later in his career he played for Sunderland, Stoke City, Blackburn Rovers, and Halifax town.
From a very young age Howard had to face racism, so throughout his career and up to this day he works to tackle racism in football, working with football’s anti-racism organisation: ‘Show racism the red card’. In August 2016 he was nominated for an MBE for his work against racism in football, which he famously turned down, he explains his reasons for this in the interview.
I and my family lived in Liverpool from 1973 until 2013. We suffered the most horrific racism you can imagine. We lived in five areas over 40-years, namely Huyton, Croxteth, West Derby, Dovecot and Broadgreen. The violence occurred daily- our car was destroyed, our home smashed, my parents beaten, my brother put in hospital, my sister having a brick thrown through the window scraping her face and hitting the wall (she was two at the time). At just 11 years old I myself was abducted by two racist pupils from my school- West Derby Comprehensive and forced to go to a nearby desolate railway line for a beating- luckily a man helped me escape. Our family was tortured for forty years in Liverpool yet we got no help from the police or authorities. Luckily I got out of Liverpool, never to return. My last day in Liverpool, I was attacked by two men in a store- the police sigma unit said there was no evidence yet I went back to the store and checked and there was working CCTV.