Liverpool’s first black player, Howard Gayle, has said he turned down a nomination for an MBE because it would be a betrayal of all the Africans who had suffered under the British empire.
The Toxteth-born footballer, 58, who also played for Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Birmingham City, Halifax Town, Sunderland, Newcastle United and Stoke City, posted the decision on his Facebook page.
He wrote: “Most of you who are on my FB page are aware of the work that I do tackling racism and the work I do for Show Racism A Red Card. And for that work yesterday I was nominated for a MBE. Which unfortunately I had to decline the nomination for the reason that my ancestors would be turning in their graves after how empire and colonialism had enslaved them.
“This is a decision that I have had to make and there will be others who may feel different and would enjoy the attraction of being a Member of the British Empire and those three letters after their name, but I feel that it would be a betrayal to all of the Africans who have lost their lives, or who have suffered as a result of empire.”