Local community welcomed to Orient fixture by Jobi McAnuff and Jay Simpson
Over 100 young people from the local community in East London were invited to watch Leyton Orient play and also had the opportunity to meet star players Jobi McAnuff and Jay Simpson, thanks to the Fans For Diversity campaign.
The campaign, which aims to encourage diversity and inclusion across fan bases, provided tickets for the young people to watch the O’s League Two clash against Morecambe on 19 March.
Before heading to Brisbane Road, First Kicks coaching company held a training session with the young people as they built up to kick-off. The session was delivered by Ellis Remy and Kola Okikiolu, who both used to play alongside Jobi for Wimbledon.
Prior to the match the young people were given the opportunity to meet some of the Orient squad including Jobi and Jay. The Orient duo, along with some of their team-mates, spent time speaking to the group and also signed autographs.
Kola, who joined the young people at the match, was delighted with the response during the day: “I was so surprised at the impact that watching live football had on those young people that attended.
“It’s something I take for granted having played and watched football my whole life but they were blown away by the noise, the people and the game. It was something that was priceless to see and I would encourage all parents to take their kids along to their local team.”
Anwar Uddin, lead on the Fans For Diversity campaign, said: “We want to encourage people to support their local team or at least sample what a match day is like, as many are unable to afford tickets to see some of the biggest clubs in the country.
“What made this initiative so special is that the young people also got to meet the players, giving them a great insight into the atmosphere surrounding a matchday. It was fantastic that through the Fans For Diversity Fund, we could make this happen.”