Chirs Hughtoin hardly welcomes the limelight, but he was interviewed today within the context he is the second black manager at Newcastle United.
Chris Hughton – when he arrived in Newcastle a year last February
Ruud Gullit, who had a year at the club from 1998 until 1999, when he was replaced by Bobby Robson, was the first black manager on Tyneside, and it may be that Newcastle are the only club to have two black managers in their history.
Chris Hughton has been blazing a trail throughout his life it seems, when you look back on his career.
He said today:
“I’ve had some extremely proud moments,” “I was the first black player to play for Ireland and I was the second black player to play for Tottenham Hotspur. When I first broke into the side at Spurs I was the only black player in the squad, but others followed.”
“I had no idea Newcastle are the only club to have had two black managers, but it hasn’t really been talked about before. I think that says a lot. A few years ago, if I had been in charge of the team, it would have been big news because of my color.”
“It’s interesting that nobody has even mentioned that before, when talking about me about Newcastle and that shows how attitudes have progressed. Nobody is really bothered by it.”
But it shows just how far attitudes have changed, and the progress that has been made with the Show Racism The Red Card initiative.
“It’s sad to say, but the incidents are too numerous to mention,” “Racism was around us every day, from opposition supporters and even players. It was just one of those things, it affected you everywhere you went.”
“It was society’s problem, not football’s as such, but that meant its presence was felt.” “Opposition players would abuse you, there would be confrontations and racism would come out.”
“When you went to take a throw in, you would here it from fans the whole time.”
“It was unpleasant and some of the things said did hurt, but they were doing it for a reason. They wanted to upset you, make you angry or distract you.”
Hopefully those times are over for good, and with a black President of the United States surely these sterotypes are a thing of the past – we hope so anyway.
But usually Newcastle fans don’t care if the player or manager is black, white, , yellow green or orange – if he can do a job on Tyneside he’s supported 100%.