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Fancy a swim in the Mersey? First Ladies 1 Mile Championship

18 November 2019 by Lisa Peatfield

Lucy Morton's gold brooch

16 year old Lucy Morton won this gold brooch in the Ladies 1 Mile Mersey Championship in August 1914. She was one of eleven competitors and finished in 24 minutes, 25 seconds with a lead of 40 yards (36 metres). The race took place along the western side of the Mersey from Eastham to the Conway training ship moored near Rock Ferry.  It was billed as featuring the “pick of England’s Amazonic wonders”! Read more…

Sports Pages take one for the team in Racism Row

12 April 2019 by Sahar Beyad

Emy Onuora

Guest blog from Emy Onuora

(Emy Onoura is the author of Pitch Black. Emy Onuora has an MA in Ethnic Studies and Race Relations from the University of Liverpool and has lectured extensively on issues of Race and Sport within higher education)

Raheem Sterling’s willingness to put himself forward as the spokesperson for a generation of black footballers is commendable, if only in the context of previous generations of footballers who were forced to suffer racist abuse in silence, even in some cases going as far as to insist that they used racist abuse as a motivator for improved performance. His challenge to the game’s leaders and opposition fans, and support for his team mates has marked a significant shift in black footballers demand to be treated with respect and dignity, has given other players the confidence to speak out and demand change. However, it’s his focus on racist attitudes within the media that’s had the most wide-ranging impact.

Sterling highlighted how his City team-mates, one black and one white received very different treatment by the Daily Mail. Tosin Adarabioyo and Phil Foden had each purchased a home. The headline on the Adarabioyo story read “Young Manchester City footballer, 20, on £25,000 a week splashes out on mansion on market for £2.25 million despite having never started a Premier League match.” The headline for his white team mate Foden, read “Manchester City starlet Phil Foden buys new £2m home for his mum.”

Sterling’s exposé prompted several days of hand-wringing and self-reflection from both the print and TV media. They openly wondered how it could be that they could be so discriminatory and how it was they had no or few minorities in their newsrooms or making editorial decisions. They began to throw around terms like unconscious bias and wondered what they could be done to make sports media more reflective of the range of diverse groups who love and have a stake in the game.

However, clearly missing from the debate was any detailed discussion of the role that the mainstream media plays in generating and supporting a climate of outright hostility and overt racism against immigrants, their children and grandchildren, inner-city youths, black music, black crime,  black gangs, black parents and so on and so on, all of it designed to generate click-bait and sell papers and generate advertising revenue.

Football as has been said often and quite correctly, reflects society, and the rise in racist incidents both in English and European football, is a reflection of an environment that serves to empower the far-right and racists more widely, and is fuelled by the normalising of hateful ideas, speeches and actions by mainstream politicians and mainstream and social media.

Outside the rarified environment of football, there has been a significant rise in racist violence against groups and individuals, and increased racist attacks on mosques, synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, but the media’s willingness to support opposition to racism on its back pages, enables the same business-as-usual hate-filled, opinion pieces, leader comments, headlines and articles to be written about minority groups on its front pages. What’s happened, is that In football parlance, the sports departments have taken one for the team. This has allowed the blame to be shifted to sports journalism, and enable the media to state its commitment to anti-racism in football while its hostile reporting continues.

Of course, the fact that in 2019, Sterling, Danny Rose and other black footballers are still the cause of debate as to how they should be protected, reflects the fact that football’s leadership has never prioritised their duty of care, to allow them to play free from racist abuse is an indictment of the game we all love and of the society we are all a part of and have a stake in. Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose, Wilfred Zaha and many other high profile and not so well-know players are doing us all a favour and reminding us that to create a society free from discrimination, requires opposition to racism not just when it concerns football, but also when it is actively fostered by those with the means and power to shape and form opinions.

GIRLFANS UNTOLD – a call to action

1 March 2019 by Matt

This International Women’s Day we are ‘kicking off’ a new project looking at the stories of women football fans.  Researcher Jacqueline McAssey tells us more-

“In 2013, to highlight the lack of visibility of female football fans, and to give them a sense of belonging in a predominantly male dominated environment I began photographing women and girls of all ages and ethnicities at football grounds in the U.K. At the end of each season I published the photographs in a fanzine called ‘GIRLFANS’ – most recently at Celtic FC in their double-treble winning season.

As the project developed I always enjoyed talking to supporters, particularly older women; season ticket holders who travelled home and away, who still wore football shirts and who knew everything about football. They told me of the deep bonds they had made with their club, their families and friends because of football, and I felt as though these stories and experiences had not been told before. In the race to attract new fans to football I often thought of them as the forgotten supporters; the over 40s, over 60s, over 80s even.

In a 2017 interview with Mundial Magazine I talked about a new sister project; a ‘prequel’ to the original photo-fanzine. This project, ‘GIRLFANS UNTOLD’ would document the experiences of older fans who watched football before the Premier League formed in 1992, or before England won the World Cup in 1966 – as far back as possible.

It is especially significant to be able to launch this project at the Museum of Liverpool, in a city where terrace culture, terrace style and the escapades of male fans have been well documented, and are still talked about today. In an attempt to redress the issue of womens’ experiences going unheard, ‘GIRLFANS UNTOLD’ is a collection of stories by life-long female supporters of Everton, Liverpool, Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United.”

On 9 March at our Girl fans kicking off event we will be showing some of the images Jacqui has already collected as well as showcasing some vintage football shirts from some favourite teams.

Kick-off is at 11am and Jacqui will be on hand to talk about her project and let you know how you can get involved.  If your team has played at any point in the Premier League please come and share your experiences of what it means to be a female football fan with Jacqui.

‘GIRLFANS UNTOLD’ is supported by Liverpool John Moores University and Studio Dotto.

www.girlfans.co.uk

www.ljmu.ac.uk

www.studiodotto.com

Peter Banasko – one of the true greats

30 October 2017 by Sarah

Peter Banasko. Courtesy of the Banasko family

Today we have a guest blog by Peter Banasko. He is writing about his father, also called Peter Banasko – a Liverpool lad who became a world-class boxer and was asked to fight before the Prince of Wales, Prince George and Lord Lonsdale. He later became an incredibly successful coach and manager. However, Peter also grew up during the era of the Colour Bar and this blog highlights the prejudices he faced. It is a fascinating local and community history and we wanted to run it during Black History Month. With thanks to the Banasko family for submitting it to us:

Peter Emmanuel Banasko 1915-1993

“Peter Banasko was born and grew up in Liverpool. He was the only child of a mixed marriage. His father, Isaac Immanuel Banasko came from the Gold Coast, Ghana. His mother Lillian Banasko, nee Doyle, came from Liverpool.

“He was named in the birthday celebration of 800 people who put Liverpool on the map. (Liverpool Echo 28/08/2007)

“He attended St. Malachy’s School and started his amateur boxing in 1929 at the famous St. Malachy’s boxing gym. By the time he was 14 he had participated in over 100 fights. At the age of 13, having over 40 undefeated contests to his credit, he claimed the distinction of being the first Liverpool boxer to bring home to Liverpool a British Title by becoming the schoolboy champion of Great Britain in 1929 and again in 1930.

“He was invited to box before the Prince of Wales, Prince George and Lord Lonsdale.

Peter Banasko coaching. Courtesy of the Banasko family.

“At 17 he turned professional under the management of the Liverpool Stadium Promoter, Johnny Best Senior.

“Some said he was the best of the best but unfortunately for Banasko he fought during the era of the infamous ‘Colour Bar’ that forbade any non-white fighter from contesting for a national title. Again this vicious prejudice was evidenced in his marriage to Margaret McNerney, a Liverpool girl. A 300 signature petition was actioned to try and stop this marriage; it was unsuccessful.

“He was the first black manager/trainer in Liverpool, indeed in the UK. He was a friend of Douglas Collister (United Africa Co.) and also Jack Farnsworth (British West Africa CO). Because of this by the early 1950s Banasko and Liverpool were a household names in Lagos.

“His reputation as an excellent manager spread to the Gold Coast.

“According to the boxing purists at that time the black boxers fought in a distinct ‘unscientific’ style; they failed to master ‘the noble art’. However, their performances in the ring soon shattered these stereotypes. Banasko was a contributing factor in this change of opinion. When opposing boxers where facing the ‘Banasko camp’ it was not the boxer they feared but Banasko because of his knowledge and expertise.

“Banasko gained the rank of sergeant with the Royal Berkshire Regiment. His request for a commission was turned down. He was advised he would stand a better chance of a commission if he joined the Indian Army!

“This prejudice came up again when Hogan Kid Bassey won the British Empire Featherweight title. He told Banasko in the dressing room after the fight that he wanted a change of manager. Bassey had been convinced that he would not get any further in his career under a black manager. Banasko, disgusted with this prejudice and gutted by Bassey’s disloyalty, parted from the sport he loved.

“Ian Hargraves in his article in the Liverpool Echo (November 30th 1993) ‘Salute to boxing’s unsung hero’ on his death in November 1993 summed it up completely by stating:

Peter Banasko… a rare talent – one of the true greats’ “.

Peter Banasko and the boxers he coached to success. Courtesy of Banasko family.

 

If you enjoyed this blog, you might be interested in our Black History Month events throughout October.

 

Felix Scott: a Victorian life

11 May 2017 by Liz

Clockwise from left: Felix Scott’s Royal Navy Record of service (source: the National Archives); HMS Charybdis, 1870; HMS Tamar, c1880

Today we have a guest blog from Jamie Calladine, a volunteer researcher working with us on the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project. Read more…

Real life super heroes – Natasha Jonas

10 March 2016 by Sam

Natasha Jonas wearing her boxing gloves

Image © Kelly Irvine

With the upcoming Afro Supa Hero exhibition we’ve been talking about real life super heroes and the people who inspire us. The Liverpool boxer Natasha Jonas is a great inspiration to me – here’s her story, in her own words:

“I come from an unconventional, freakishly large family who were all born, raised and live in Toxteth. In the house I grew up in I was the eldest of all the girls, but had two elder boy cousins. I adored these two older lads, they were my heroes. I was with them all the time – climbing trees, playing football, bmx-ing – and from that I gained a real love of sports.

The first time I watched the Olympics on TV I was 4. I was totally amazed and screamed for my mum to come and watch it with me. By the end of the programme I told her, with a matter of fact face “Mum, I’m going to be there”.  Read more…

Liverpool Grand Prix

2 July 2015 by Liz

trophy with a man waving a flag on top

Aintree Circuit Lap Record Trophy. On display in Wondrous Place gallery in the Museum of Liverpool

I’m an archaeologist at the Museum of Liverpool, so this blog relates to history which is a bit modern for me, but in my down-time I follow Formula One motorsport and have an interest in its history.

This weekend’s British Grand Prix marks the 60th anniversary of the first time a British Driver won a Grand Prix on home soil.  Read more…

Boardman thinks Museum’s a winner!

14 July 2014 by Lucy

Image of Chris Boardman with bike

Chris Boardman supporting the Museum of Liverpool in 2010

Did you know that the Museum of Liverpool is shortlisted to win the National Lottery Award for Best Heritage Project?

It’s a public vote, so we need everyone to get involved to help us clinch the top spot and make our city proud. You can vote here.

Someone who’s been a great supporter of the Museum since before it opened is former world and Olympic cycling champion Chris BoardmanRead more…

Shanks’ award to go on display

9 May 2014 by Lucy

People holding award

Curator Paul Gallagher and Shankly’s granddaughter Karen Gill with the award

On Thursday 15 May, a special item is going on display in the Museum of Liverpool highlighting the importance of one man and his success with Liverpool Football Club.

Bill Shankly was Liverpool Football Club’s inspirational manager from 1959 to 1974. He is widely regarded as the founding father of the modern-day Club, taking them from 2nd Division obscurity to an unprecedented period of success in the 1960s.  Read more…

High Seas not SW19

26 June 2013 by Sarah Starkey

Photograph of tennis game on deck of ship Araguaya

A game of deck tennis on board Araguaya, Royal Mail Line, 1924 (MAL reference DX/1201)

Well it’s not quite the green grass of Wimbledon, but a lack of space isn’t going to put off these tennis players.

Actually this is deck tennis on board the Royal Mail Line vessel Araguaya in 1924. The game was played by throwing quoits, rather than with rackets and balls, which presumably had a high probability of being lost overboard. This picture was taken by Miss V. Maughfling on a cruise around the Mediterranean. The Maritime Archives & Library holds a number of her photograph albums which show images of cruising and tourism in the 1920s. Read more…



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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.