Norwich Morrisons supermarket worker reveals how former England, Watford and AC Milan footballer Luther Blissett inspired him to launch anti-racism drive
11:10 31 July 2012
A supermarket worker who realised he had been unintentionally racist in the past has made it his mission to help stamp out the problem - after being inspired by a former England football star.
Grandfather Brian Lewis, 52, has spent the past four months planning what he hopes will be Norwich’s biggest Kick Racism Out Of Football event.
And he has won the support of Norwich City Football Club, whose chief executive David McNally is to attend the event at Morrisons at Riverside, where Mr Lewis works.
Mr Lewis said he was inspired after he met former Watford, AC Milan and England striker Luther Blissett - one of the first black footballers to play in Italy.
Mr Lewis, who has four children and two grandchildren, said: “Speaking to Luther I realised that in the past I had been unintentionally racist.
“Some of the language I used and stereotypes I’d grown up believing, I can see now were totally unacceptable.
“Going back to work a few weeks later I heard racist remarks against Polish people, black people and others and I realised I needed to be doing something.
“Ignorance really isn’t an excuse.”
Mr Lewis, who lives in Carbrooke, near Watton, added: “The support I’ve had from my employer and USDAW, my trade union so far, has been fantastic.
“But the icing on the cake for me has been the support of Norwich City Football Club. For them to get behind this has been a dream come true.”
The event, which will take place from 10am until 4pm on Saturday will feature free Kick It Out goodies, free refreshments, dancers, music and clowns.
The event is also being supported by Norwich City Council and Labour’s Norwich South Parliamentary Candidate, Clive Lewis who has helped with some of the organisation.
He said: “I have to say when Brian first contacted me a few months ago to help him out with this I thought he might be biting off more than he could chew. But his commitment to this has been inspirational.”