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Barnes pays tribute to John Beresford

John Beresford

PFA Deputy Chief Executive Bobby Barnes has paid tribute to John Beresford who has been awarded an MBE for his work supporting Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC). 

John was a Newcastle United FC player when he became involved with SRtRC, in the earliest days of the charity’s work. Alongside Shaka Hislop, John took part in school visits, answering questions about racism from young people.

Since then John has consistently volunteered with SRtRC, taking part in educational events at football clubs and appearing in several of the campaign’s educational films.

PFA Deputy Chief Executive Bobby Barnes spoke glowing of Beresford’s contributions: “Everyone at the PFA would like to congratulate John on a well-deserved MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

“I’m personally delighted for John, he’s a good friend and we’ve travelled together on many of the PFA’s tournaments.

“He’s always had a real passion for the game and is a strong competitor. Even when he was playing in the Hong Kong 7’s tournament for the PFA, he took those games just as seriously as he did when he was playing for Newcastle United at St. James Park.

“John’s contribution to anti-racism initiatives should not be under-estimated, he was one of the first non-BAME players to stand-up and promote anti-racism messages.

“It is testament to John that he was big enough and brave enough to stand up alongside his fellow professionals and he, alongside fellow Magpies’ campaigner Shaka Hislop, added great weight to the anti-racism message.

“It was important that these messages came from a player who wasn’t personally subject to the abuse that was still going on during the 1990s.

“I’ve no doubt this would have been appreciated by his black colleagues and helped to reinforce a vital message to the wider football community.”

Ged Grebby, SRtRC Chief Executive said: “John Beresford attended SRtRC’s first ever event back in February 1996 with Shaka Hislop and ever since then he has been a marvellous patron and supporter of the campaign’s work.

“John’s passion for anti-racism education shines through whenever you meet him and this award is well deserved. I am so pleased that he has been recognised in this way.”