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Action Week

Anti-Racism Week of Action in football is a Europe-wide initiative, with hundreds of events taking place in the UK and across Europe, co-ordinated by our partners in the FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) network. During this period schools, community groups, fans and amateur clubs, join the professional game in coming together for an extended week of activities to make a stand against racism. In 2005, more than 700 events took place during the week of action, including an anti-racism match day at all 92 professional clubs in England and Wales. It began in 2000 and has been held every year since.

Football Unites, Racism Divides held its biggest ever Week of Action event at the game between Sheffield United and Premiership champions Chelsea on 28th October 2006. Football Unites has worked together with Sheffield United since 1997 on their Anti-Racist days.

"The match against Chelsea provided the perfect opportunity of a packed stadium, plus Sky coverage, to do something a bit special",

said Football Unites coordinator Howard Holmes. Luckily the attendance - 32,321 - was the highest at Bramall Lane since the FA Cup tie against Manchester United in 1990.

25 Football Unites volunteers worked for three hours to lay out 6,000 cards, which spelt out a giant 'Kick It Out' message, as the players shook hands before the game. Football Unites worked with the club and 'Show Racism the Red Card' to produce a team poster against racism, 4,500 copies of which were handed out to fans, along with Kick It Out's 'One Game, One Community' leaflet and poster. 

'Blades United Against Racism' and 'Kick It Out' messages were flashed every ten minutes on the giant scoreboard and 12 young players from the Football Unites free sessions at the Blades Academy took part in a coaching demonstration on the pitch at half-time.

SUFC v Chelsea (Click for full size pop-up)
Football Unites volunteers put anti-racist cards on every seat in the stand
Sheffield United v Chelsea, 28/10/06 (Click for full size pop-up)
Sheffield United fans hold up cards spelling out the messages 'Kick it out'

Sheffield United, in their match programme for the fixture against Bolton on 11th November 2006, thanked the fans and Football Unites:

"A big thank you to supporters in the Capital One Stand who virtually all made the effort to raise the card and help promote the Kick it Out message just before our last home fixture with Chelsea.

"As part of Sheffield United's contribution towards the national campaign to eradicate racism in the game, those fans lifted an appropriately coloured card  that had been left on their seats before kick-off.

"With SKY in attendance the message was truly given a global airing and...made a strong image that must have been appreciated by everyone in the ground - apart from, unfortunately, those holding the cards!

"We were delighted to help 'Football Unites, Racism Divides' in that particular venture - their staff spent all Saturday morning putting out the cards - and thank them for arranging the half-time coaching demonstration".

Soundkickers gave away their CD at Sheffield Wednesday v Bournemouth, October 2010 (Click for full size pop-up)
FURD's 'Soundkickers' music project gave copies of its CD away at the Sheffield Wednesday v Bournemouth match, Oct 2010. Photo by SWFC.
Luis and Academy players (Click for full size pop-up)
Football Unites coach Luis with some of his players after putting anti-racist cards on the seats
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