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Romans leading from the front in battle to kick racism out of football

Bath, Bath City, National League, National League South, Twerton Park

The Romans are going into battle to kick racism out of football next weekend when they host Dorking Wanderers.

Bath City have designated their National League South clash as an ‘anti-racism day’ and fans will see the team warming up at Twerton Park wearing Kick It Out t-shirts.

A day of promotional activities are taking place after the club teamed up with Bath Against Racism (BAR), Bath & North East Somerset Council and Fairfield House, the former home of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie during his exile from Ethiopia from 1936 to 1941.

‘Getting The Third Degree’, a new play charting Laurie Cunningham’s moving story and fight for equality as one of Britain’s first black footballers at West Bromwich Albion in the late 1970’s will also be in the spotlight.

Commissioned by football’s equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out, the cast are currently rehearsing at Bath City during Black History Month ahead of a nationwide tour in the autumn.

Playwright Dougie Blaxland will be joined at half-time by Ian McGlynn of the Rondo Theatre to talk about the background to the play.

Alongside Cyril Regis and Brendan Batson, Cunningham was a member of a black footballing trio famously dubbed “The Three Degrees”.

He later helped to inspire a whole generation of young black players to follow in his pioneering footsteps as the first black star to sign for the mighty Real Madrid.

Bath City’s general manager Carole Banwell said: “The overriding message of the day is one of solidarity with all anti-racism groups and zero-tolerance at Bath City of racism.

“We will be celebrating BAME culture through food and music as well as through footballing achievements, with a particular focus on the Laurie Cunningham story as told in the new play ‘Getting The Third Degree’”.

The Romans have also chosen the day for the formal launch of a new refugee season ticket scheme.

Working together with Bath Welcomes Refugees (BWR), the club will invite local businesses or individuals to buy reduced-price season tickets for BWR to pass on to local refugee families. Local families and others who don’t normally have the opportunity to regularly come and enjoy football will also be invited.

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