Local football club backs Black Lives Matter

Local football club Peckham Town FC will unveil a 10-metre long banner showing its support for the Black Lives Matter movement at its next match on Saturday (10 October).

The ceremony will be performed by Richard Taylor OBE, father of Damilola Taylor, who was murdered at the age of 10 on 27 November 2000.

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The Damilola Taylor Trust Hope 2020 campaign is dedicated to young people and their aspirations, ambitions and hope. Damilola Taylor dreamed of being a doctor. The club is also backing this initiative.

Hope 2020 was launched at Brixton’s Ritzy cinema on 27 November 2019 the 19th anniversary of Damilola’s death, Mr Taylor brought together fellow anti-knife campaigners to launch the 12-month campaign.

Richard Taylor will attend the match against Chislehurst-based Stansfeld O&B in the Kent County League Premier Division, seven levels below the football league, and speak at a short event at 2.15pm, ahead of kick off.

The banner will be a feature at the entrance to the ground off the South Circular in Dulwich for the rest of the season.

The former England youth international, Cherno Samba, will also be at the match to show his support.

The banner and event are sponsored by the Rio Ferdinand Foundation. Rio was born and raised in Peckham.

Andrew Ducille, head of London programmes for the foundation, said: “We are proud to be involved with Peckham Town FC in supporting both Black Lives Matter and the Hope 2020 campaign.

“It’s fantastic to see local clubs supporting these important causes. The ethos of Peckham Town in supporting young people and communities reflects our own, and we see this as a start of a longer term partnership between the club and the foundation.”

Bryan Hall, chairman of Peckham Town FC, said: “We have a rich history of supporting young people in Peckham fulfil their potential, and naturally young Black people are a big part of that.

“The Black Lives Matter movement has had a big impact on me and our club this year. Change is well overdue, and I hope that the movement is the beginning of a journey.

“The Hope 2020 campaign is an important part of this. I am pleased that we can do our little bit to keep the momentum going.”

Like many smaller clubs, Peckham Town FC is experiencing a growth in support in these unusual times.

The club broke its attendance record at its last home league game when 184 supporters turned up.

The club stresses that social distancing was and is still very much possible. Its Menace Arena could hold an estimated 1,500 people. The club is hoping to break the 200 mark for the Saturday’s match. Entrance is just £3 for adults (cash or card), and under-16s can attend free.

The ground has a covered end behind one goal and a covered main stand that would normally seat around 80 supporters.

The club has implemented a number of changes at the ground to reduce the risk of infection. Full details are on its website

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