Dulwich Hamlet will mark Black History Month by paying tribute to eight of the club’s most influential black players. The monumental role black footballers have played in the club’s achievements will be the focus of a new exhibition to be launched on Saturday 3 October. The showcase, which is the result of a collaborative project involving the club, a group of fans and the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust, will be unveiled ahead of a home game against VCD Athletic.
Over the years Dulwich Hamlet has blazed a trail in tackling bigotry head-on both on and off the pitch. Recent milestones include the team becoming the first non-league side to publically back a campaign against homophobia. Fans have also overwhelmingly supported the club’s public appeal on behalf refugees camped in squalid conditions in Calais. Duncan Hart, Chair of Dulwich Hamlet’s Supporters Trust welcomed the launch of the club’s new exhibition.
“Black players have played a huge role in the club’s history and successes, with Black History Month being the perfect opportunity to highlight the contribution of some of the Club’s terrace heroes”, said Mr Hart. “The Trust are thrilled that the club will be officially recognising Black History Month through an exhibition in the club bar.”
The unveiling of the Dulwich Hamlet’s exhibition will coincide with another ‘pay what you like day’ for fans at Champion Hill. The event has been set up as part of the fifth annual Non-League Day, an annual campaign that encourages fans of top-level football sides to back their local non-league team. ‘Pay what you like day’ follows on from the success of last’s year event, which led to a mammoth supporter turnout. Last year, 2856 fans flocked to Champion Hill and raised over £6000 for charitable causes.
Due to Hamlet playing away from home on Non League Day, the club have chosen to run a ‘pay what you like’ event one week in advance. This year, fans are being invited to pay what they wish at Dulwich’s first home league game in October. A proportion of match day proceeds will be donated to the British Heart Foundation and Cool Tan Arts.
“The fixture didn’t fall for us this season, but it was such an amazing day last year that we decided to have our own one again, just a week early”, said Mishi Morath, a member of the club’s Community Development Committee. “The charities we’ve chosen picked themselves really. Cooltan are our charity for the entire campaign, and the British Heart Foundation was picked in recognition of the important work they do, especially in the light of the serious heart problems last season suffered by two of our fans Neil Cole & Andy Greig. We spoke with Hadley, who own the stadium and finance the club – and they were, as always, very happy to support us fully.”