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New Year Honours 2019: Leroy Rosenior, footballer and anti-racism campaigner, made MBE

Leroy Rosenior
Image caption Leroy Rosenior is vice-president of Show Racism The Red Card

Former footballer and manager Leroy Rosenior has been appointed MBE for his services to tackling discrimination in sport.

Rosenior, vice-president of Show Racism The Red Card, was a striker for Fulham, West Ham, QPR and Bristol City.

He also managed Torquay, Brentford and the Sierra Leone national side.

He said he had no idea he was getting the honour and initially thought the letter was a joke - but wanted to use it to highlight the campaign work.

Rosenior said: "It's nice to have the MBE after your name but how can I use it to push the work forward?

"We've had recent incidents with Raheem Sterling - it's funny because people always said to me it doesn't happen anymore, racism, because they've never really seen it.

"You can't relate to it until you've seen it, you experience [it].

"The big point of racism is to keep [it] in the headlines so you can get funding to do the work and help bring society together."

'Chip on your shoulder'

Rosenior, who lives in Portishead and has also worked as a pundit for the BBC, was a footballer during the 1980s and 1990s and said when he was playing the sport did not have organisations such as Kick It Out or Show Racism the Red Card.

Speaking then he said if you wanted a career in football "you had to put up with it".

"If you tried to confront it in any way you were always in the wrong and you were told you had a chip on your shoulder."

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