Malcolm Hirst: Vale’s game against Exeter to promote Fans for Diversity

Fans for Malcolm Hirst updates OVF viewers on a Port Vale game to promote Fans for Diversity…

Malcolm Hirst writes…

Vale’s home game against Exeter City on Saturday 29th September 2018 has been dedicated by the club to promote the work of Fans for Diversity in tackling racism and discrimination in football.

I am excited by the prospect of positive coverage in conventional and social media highlighting inclusivity promoted by Port Vale Football Club…

This is a great opportunity for fans to show ourselves, and the club, in a positive light. I was very pleased that the club reacted positively to the request by the Port Vale Supporters Club to highlight this important campaign. On the day itself, the supporters club will be giving away 300 bespoke t-shirts proclaiming ‘Love Port Vale, Hate Racism’. The players will also be warming up in the t-shirts and there will be information about Fans for Diversity in the match programme and on the smartboard.

Vale fans know there have been problems in the past and that some fans have stopped going to away matches because of the things they have seen and heard. Sadly, I heard of another young fan not wanting to watch Vale anymore after an incident at Tranmere last Saturday. However, it must be emphasised that the problems are limited to a small number. The majority of Vale fans recognise that racism and discrimination have no place in football or society. I am excited by the prospect of positive coverage in conventional and social media highlighting inclusivity promoted by Port Vale Football Club, its players, staff and, of course, us supporters.

Although the message on the t-shirt is anti-racist, the campaign is much broader, and identifies the need to tackle discrimination in all its forms – whether it is based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.

The Supporters Club would also like to express its gratitude to Fans for Diversity for assisting with the day and helping with funding for the t-shirts.

Malcolm Hirst is vice chair of the Port Vale Supporters Club.