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Milestones

1995 to 2005

1995: Attacks on local Asian and Somali people in the vicinity of Sheffield United’s ground, particularly on match days.  Football Unites, Racism Divides partnership set up including fans, Sheffield United and community groups.

Jan 1996: Successful bid for funding from the European Cities Anti-Racism Project.

April 1996: Project Co-ordinator appointed and Football Unites officially launched at Sheffield United FC.

May 1997: Publication of ‘Sheffield Divided or United? A Study of ‘Race’ and Football’, research report commissioned by Football Unites.

May 1997: Headstone on Arthur Wharton’s previously unmarked grave unveiled after Football Unites set up an appeal fund.

Sep 1997: European funding enables Football Unites to appoint a part-time youth worker, resources and information worker, and an admin worker.

Nov 1997: Football Unites Resources and Information Centre officially opened.

Jan 1998: Football Unites website launched.

July 1998: Football Unites takes two teams to the Anti-Racist World Cup in Italy for the first time and has taken a party regularly ever since. Football Unites’ teams the Somali Blades and Abbeydale Youth Project meet and draw in the final.

Sep 1998: Publication of the book ‘The First Black Footballer: Arthur Wharton 1865-1930’, by Phil Vasili, funded by Football Unites.

Oct 1998:History of Black Footballers Exhibition’ launched at Manchester United’s Museum.

Nov 1998: Somali Blades win the Philip Lawrence Award for good citizenship.

Nov 1998:Streetkick’ mobile football game unveiled at Sheffield United’s open day.

Feb 1999: FARE network (Football Against Racism in Europe) founded by supporters’ groups from 13 countries. Football Unites is a founder member and partner.

May 1999: Football Unites Educational Trust established.

May 1999: First Community Day held by Football Unites and Sheffield United at Bramall Lane with Somali Blades playing the Abbeydale Youth Project in a replay of the Anti-Racist World Cup final. Community Day becomes an established part of the calendar with days being held every year since.

July 1999: Football Unites begins delivering Sheffield Futures'  Millennium Volunteers scheme established by the Department for Education and Employment

Feb 2000: David Blunkett attends launch of Football Unites Millennium Volunteers project at Bramall Lane.

2000: Began working with the Shirecliffe Youth Inclusion Project, funded by the Home Office Positive Futures initiative, to provide coaching, a second Streetkick game and a peer mentoring programme.

Aug 2000: Sharrow United, sponsored by Football Unites, become the first mainly Asian team in Sheffield local league football.

April 2001: ‘United Colours of Football’ fanzine, issue 2, launched by Football Unites and Kick It Out as part of the first European-wide anti-racist week of action in football.

April 2001: Football Unites launches website for the FARE network (Football Against Racism in Europe).

May 2001: Sharrow United win promotion in their first season in the Regional Alliance Sunday League Division 2.

Oct 2001: John Barnes is among the inspirational speakers at a Football Unites-run conference aimed at raising young people’s aspirations.

Feb 2002: 80 delegates from 14 countries attend a FARE conference organised by Football Unites and held at Sheffield United to share good practice in anti-racist work.

May 2002: Sharrow Utd win promotion again to the Regional Alliance Premier League

July 2002: Football Unites enters a women’s team in the mixed Anti-Racist World Cup for the first time and the team wins the Coppa Multiculti.

Oct 2002: National and Europe-wide Anti-Racist Action Week sees all 92 league clubs take part. The week has since become an established annual event.

Nov 2002: FARE wins the MTV Free Your Mind human rights award.

June 2003: FURD is described as a 'model project' in the report 'Unite Against Racism in European Football: UEFA Guide to Good Practice' .

Jul-Aug 2003: Unity Cup, national tournament for refugees and asylum-seekers, is held in Manchester, with Sheffield teams taking part, and a 7-a-side summer league starts for refugees and asylum-seekers in Sheffield.

Sep 2003: Football Unites backs a new Somali under-18 team, Surud United, who enter the 11-a-side Sheffield & District DB Sports Under-18 League.

Jan 2004: The national Kick It Out campaign marks its tenth anniversary at a star-studded ceremony. Football Unites receives a special award for its pioneering work as a community-based anti-racist football project.

April 2004: Sharrow Utd win the Sheffield Regional Alliance Sunday League Cup.

June 2004: Streetkick tours Portugal helping promote a friendly atmosphere among fans during Euro 2004

July 2004: A break-in, theft and fire at our office disrupts work and causes us to move to temporary premises for 6 months.

2005 onwards

April 2005: Football Unites wins contract from the Home Office to deliver a Positive Futures programme in Sharrow and Burngreave, initially for one year until  March 2006.

May 2005: Football Unites delivers its first anti-racist training package to youth workers.

Nov 2005: Football Unites marks its tenth anniversary with a gala evening at Bramall Lane.

June 2006: FURD’s Streetkick tours the World Cup finals in Germany

July 2006: FURD hosts the national Unity Cup tournament for refugees and asylum-seekers

Sep 06: FURD Positive Futures enters an under-16 team in the Sheffield & District Junior Sunday League

Oct 06: 6,000 cards are laid out on seats at Bramall Lane by FURD volunteers, which were held up by fans to spell the message ‘Kick It Out’ before the Sheffield United v Chelsea Premiership fixture as part of Anti-Racism Action Week in Football

Nov 06: FURD and Sheffield Futures organise a conference about Islamophobia

Dec 06: An Ofsted inspection report on Sheffield Futures, the company delivering youth services in Sheffield, praises the work of Football Unites

April 07: Sharrow United win promotion to the First Division of the Meadowhall Sheffield Sunday Football League

April 07: FURD staff and volunteers attend a civic reception at the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in recognition of FURD’s work in the community

July 07: FURD volunteers feature in Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s book ‘Britain’s Everyday Heroes’

Nov 07: Pele meets FURD staff and backs the campaign

Dec 07: FURD coach Desbon Bushiri establishes the Football Between Communities project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

March 08: FURD volunteer Abdi Hussein wins Community Champion award for voluntary work at Football Without Frontiers conference in Belfast.

March 08: FURD trainee, Liban Abdi, who is Somali, makes his debut for the Sheffield United first team, scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 friendly against Ferencvaros in Hungary.

May 08: Sharrow United win the Meadowhall Sunday League Cup.

June 08: FURD takes Streetkick to the Euro 2008 finals in Austria and Switzerland.

Sep 2008: FURD volunteer, Sophina Hanif, spends a month in the DR Congo as assistant coach with the Football Between Communities project.

Oct 2008: FURD wins the Score4Africa Diversity award, beating off shortlisted rivals Kick It Out and Rio Ferdinand.

Nov 2008: FURD’s Youth Against Conflict group launch their DVD ‘It’s Your Call’, dealing with knife crime and racist bullying, at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield.

Jan 2009: 18-year-old Kyle Walker, originally recommended by FURD to Sheffield United in 1997, makes his debut for Sheffield United's first team in the FA Cup 3rd round win at Leyton Orient.

Feb 2009: Kyle Walker makes his debut for England Under-19s, coming on as a substitute in a friendly against Spain.

May 2009: FURD, Sheffield United and The Hub African-Caribbean Centre host the Laurie Cunningham Memorial Dinner at Bramall Lane as part of the Laurie Cunningham Project to commemorate Cunningham's life and the development of black football in Sheffield.

May 2009: Young people from FURD's V volunteers' scheme organise Vibes and Unity, a free anti-racist festival in Sheffield city centre to encourage young people to use their vote in the European elections.

July 2009: A minibus carrying young people from FURD's Positive Futures scheme home from the Anti-Racist World Cup in Italy crashes on the M1, killing one of the team, 18-year-old Ahmed Hassan, and injuring several others.

October 2009: FURD's Soundkickers project starts, creating opportunities for young people from different parts of Sheffield to get together to make music with support from professional musicians and equipment.

April 2010: FURD begins a 3-year research project, 'Football: A shared sense of belonging?', to investigate the role football may play in helping refugees, asylum seekers and other new migrants settle into life in Britain.

May 2010: A second Vibes and Unity event is staged by FURD's volunteers to promote anti-racism and encourage people to use their vote in the forthcoming local and general elections.

May 2010: Sharrow United win promotion to the Meadowhall League Premier Division in their 10th anniversary season.

June 2010: 'Offside! - Kick Out Ignorance - Football Unites, Racism Divides', an exhibition researched by FURD about South African footballers' experiences of playing in Britain from 1899 onwards, opens at the District Six Museum, Cape Town, South Africa, at the start of the World Cup finals in South Africa.

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