As part of our community engagement programme, Partick Thistle and the Jags Trust were represented at Sunday’s “The Andrew Watson Homecoming Day” football event at the Toryglen Football Centre by Ami Small and Kieron Dempsey.
The tournament organised by Afroscots United Football Club and the African and Caribbean Network formed part of the 2009 Show Racism the Red card fortnight of action and the UK’s Black History Month celebrations. The event was staged over a five hour period and took the form of a five a side tournament with teams drawn form a variety of ethnic backgrounds.
The aim of the tournament was to raise awareness of Andrew Watson, the world's first black association footballer to play at international level, and his achievements as Scotland captain in the 1890’s. Watson was the first black player ever to win a major competition winning several Scottish Cups with Queens Park. He also won three international caps for Scotland: his first cap was a 6 - 1 victory against England, his second a 5 - 1 triumph over Wales and his third was another win over England, the score this time an equally emphatic 5 - 1.
The tournament also aimed to encourage the over 35 black male community to participate in sport, and the importance of sport as a tool of integration and social cohesion. Through coupling the event with Scotland’s year long Homecoming theme, it is hoped that the annual event will help to encourage the Afroscots Diaspora to maintain their links with Scotland.
Pictured (L. to R.) above are Kieron Dempsey, Brian Watson, Ami Small, Jonathan Ssembatya, Atta Yaqub and Graham Campbell, all proudly displaying the "Show Racism the Red Card" plaques.
The tournament winners were Glasgow Ansar who wore Show Racism the Red Card tops throughout pressing the anti-racism focus. The cup was presented to Ansar captain Atta Yaqub by Chigozie Joe Adigwe Chairperson of the African and Caribbean Network. Chigozie was assisted by Ami, Kieron and Brian Watson of Queens Park FC who handed out the winners and runners up medals at the awards ceremony. Thanks go to Jonathan Ssembatya (Afroscots United) and Graham Campbell (ACN Development Coordinator) for organising the event on the day and to Tolu and Kalonde for related ongoing work. A special mention has to be made of Qwabi a lifelong Jags supporter who had the difficult task along with Kalonde of refereeing at the event.
It is hoped that next year the tournament will be held at Lesser Hampden with both Queens Park and Partick Thistle assisting in the organisation and coaching of the teams in the run up to the event.