ADHT Praises Wells And Best For Their Support

March 10, 2014

The African Diaspora Heritage Trail [ADHT] has praised local athletes Nahki Wells and Clyde Best for their support of ADHT’s efforts to mark the United Nations International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade after the pair donated autographed memorabilia intended to raise money for a week’s worth of activities planned to celebrate the week.

A spokesperson said, “These local football stars have donated autographed memorabilia for a silent auction during the week-long series of activities which will begin on Sunday, March 23 with a commemorative service and end on Saturday, March 29 with a celebrity football match.

“Wells helped Bradford City earn a promotion to League One – the third highest tier in English football behind the Premiership and the Championship – at the end of last season before he was sold to Huddersfield during the January 2014 transfer window for an undisclosed record fee. He has donated a signed away shirt of his current club.

“Best, regarded as one of Bermuda’s greatest ever athletes and a trailblazer for blacks in English football, played 218 games for West Ham United over seven seasons between August 1969 and January 1976, scoring 58 goals.

“As the team’s only black player at the time, he endured racist chanting while on the field, including monkey chanting and the hurling of bananas and peanuts at the pitch. The former international has donated a signed West Ham United shirt for the auction.

“Other signed memorabilia for the silent action include a Toronto Football Club shirt signed by Reggie Lambe and his teammates and an Ilkeston Football Club ball signed by Dante Leverock and his teammates.

“The theme of this year’s observance, which includes an inaugural series of lectures from Tuesday, March 25 to Thursday, March 27 is “The Triangular Slave Trade: Connecting Then and Now,” focusing emphasis on the links between Bermuda and the United Kingdom city of Liverpool.

“As Liverpool was a key port in the Triangular Slave Trade, we decided to capture the interest of Liverpool football fans in Bermuda,” said Maxine Esdaille, the chairman of the ADHT board of directors.

“The most exciting activity in this regard is a celebrity football match on Saturday, March 29 at Somerset Cricket Club between Team Best and Team Regis. Cyrille Regis, who is a friend of Clyde Best, is from French Guiana and played for, among others, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers in English football.

“More than 30 local celebrities have signed on for the celebrity match, including Rev. Nicholas Tweed, minister at St. Paul’s AME Church, Lionel Cann, local cricketer, John Barry Nusum, former international player and current physical education teacher, and Bootsie, radio personality from Magic FM at Inter-Island Communications.

“Kick off time is 2.00pm and tickets cost $10, with tickets for children under 16 and seniors costing only $5.

“The International Day of Remembrance was adopted by a United Nations Resolution in 2007 and is observed on March 25 of each year to honour and remember the over 15 million men, women, and children who were the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history. The International Day, first observed in 2008, also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.”

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