Footballer Boyce lands anti-racism honour

Emmerson Boyce has been unducted into the Show Racism the Red Card Hall of Fame
Emmerson Boyce has been unducted into the Show Racism the Red Card Hall of Fame

Not content with lifting the FA Cup and leading his team into Europe for the first time, footballer Emmerson Boyce has added another honour to CV, this time for his work tackling racism.

The former Quarrendon School pupil turned Wigan Athletic defender was one of a select few players inducted into the Show Racism the Red Card Hall of Fame at a special event at Parliament last weekend.

The anti-racism charity, which has been running for 17 years, held its third Hall of Fame event at Speakers’ Residence, where Aylesbury-born Boyce met up with a familiar face in Vale MP John Bercow.

Emmerson, 34, was inducted alongside the likes of Spurs and England striker Jermaine Defoe and women’s footballer Rachel Yankey.

While he has been a true champion of the anti-racism message since becoming a professional, Emmerson said he never experienced any discrimination growing up in Elmhurst.

He said: “I grew up in Aylesbury and it was quite a mixed area – I didn’t really notice any racism there.

“Obviously when I was younger there were things like ‘stop and search’, but you take those things with a pinch of salt when you are young.

“Apart from that my area was fine.”

Earlier this season Emmerson led his team onto foreign soil where racism still rears its ugly head on a regular basis.

He captained Wigan on their travels to Russia to play Rubin Kazan, where racism is particularly prevalent.

But he says you can either laugh at racists or beat them.

“When I played at Luton I experienced it myself,” he said.

“You used to get the racial abuse at away games.

“They would throw Jaffa cakes and make monkey noises – things like that.

“There were a few of us in the team, we just laughed it off and joked about it later.

“It shows how far that football has come. You don’t really hear about that here now.

“I can go to any ground in the country and I don’t hear anything.

“That shows that the campaigns are working.”