Dagenham and Redbridge unveil special ‘Fans for Diversity’ mural
League Two side Dagenham and Redbridge unveiled a special ‘Fans for Diversity’ mural, paying tribute to an iconic moment from the club’s history, prior to their dedicated ‘Season of Action’ fixture against Cheltenham Town on Saturday 31 January.
With the aim of inspiring the future fans and players, supporters were encouraged to suggest key moments to depict on the Barking and Dagenham College Family Stand as part of a project run through Kick It Out and the Football Supporters’ Federation’s (FSF) ‘Fans for Diversity’ campaign.
Daggers supporters made a range of suggestions but ended up deciding on an image of Steve Thompson MBE, the club’s Managing Director, celebrating their victory over Rotherham United in the League Two play-off final in 2010 with players Anwar Uddin, Mark Arber and Jon Nurse.
The image was spray painted onto the stand demonstrating the diverse nature of the squad at the time with Uddin, the first British Asian to captain a Football League side, South African born Arber and former Barbados international Nurse all playing a vital role in gaining promotion to League One.
Former Daggers skipper Uddin, who now works as Diversity and Campaigns Manager at the FSF, runs the ‘Fans for Diversity’ campaign with Kick It Out and looks to generate fan-led activity promoting inclusivity, equality and diversity through the power of football.
“This is a really innovative way for a club to celebrate their past,” said Uddin. “The promotion to League One showed the elation at the club being the highest it has ever been, and we want to inspire fans to use the past to cheer the team on in the present.”
The fixture against Cheltenham was also the club’s sixth annual ‘Daggers Against Racism’ game which saw the players warm up in Kick It Out t-shirts, reduced ticket prices for fans and featured the Junior Daggers, who signed a pledge board against racism at half time.
The match provided a much-needed three points as the Daggers defeated the Robins 3-1 in front of their largest home attendance of the season, contributing 2,696 people to Kick It Out’s total ‘Season of Action’ attendance of 741,389 so far in 2014/15.