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Liverpool and England legend to give virtual talk

Published: 29 September 2020 at 14:57

Footballer John Barnes MBE

John Barnes will speak at event organised by ARU for Black History Month

Legendary Liverpool and England footballer John Barnes is to speak about the highs and lows of his glittering career at a virtual event organised by Anglia Ruskin University for Black History Month.

Barnes, who was capped 79 times for England and was the first black player to be named Football Writers Player of the Year in 1988, was a key member of the Liverpool side that dominated English football in the late 1980s and early 1990s.


Barnes appeared in two World Cups for England, and won two league titles and two FA Cups with Liverpool. He also won the Players Football Association Player of the Year in 1988. However, he frequently suffered racist abuse from the stands.

The Jamaica-born winger once backheeled a banana that had been thrown from the terraces during a Merseyside derby match with Everton, in a famously defiant act against the racists that attempted to disrupt his career.

On Thursday, 8 October at 7pm, Barnes will give the 10th annual Excellence in Sport Lecture at ARU, and will speak in depth about his career at the very highest level of football, and his experience in dealing with racism. Attendees will also be able to ask questions.

It is one of several events being organised by ARU to celebrate Black History Month.

Dr James Johnstone, Head of Sport and Exercise Sciences at ARU, which saw its Sports Science courses recently named the best in the country by The Guardian, said:

“We are delighted to have someone with John’s profile to take the 10th Excellence in Sport Lecture as part of Black History Month at ARU.

“His career as an elite sportsperson, subsequent advocacy around racism in football and wider society will provide a fascinating discussion.”


The event is being held online using Microsoft Teams, and places are limited. To secure a place, and to find out more about events at ARU to mark Black History Month, visit http://www.aru.ac.uk/events

Picture credit: Sjur Bjørkly