Dagenham and Redbridge supporters are being given the opportunity to imprint their favourite moments at the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium as part of a special mural.The East London based side have teamed up with the Fans for Diversity campaign, a joint initiative run by Kick It Out and the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF), which aims to promote diversity and inclusion across the professional and non-league game, and is led by former Daggers captain Anwar Uddin – who made nearly 200 appearances for the club during a six-year period.
The unveiling of the mural will take place at the club’s Daggers Against Racism match against Cheltenham Town on Saturday, January 31, which will be attended by Football League chairman Greg Clarke.
Daggers fans are invited to submit their ideas of what parts of the club’s history could be portrayed on the Barking & Dagenham College Family Stand and associated areas within the ground – these could be classic moments such as the promotions from the Conference and League Two, legendary managers, staff members and boardroom figures, and iconic players and fans who have worn the red and blue of the club.
These ideas could be in the form of pictures, quotes or anything depicting what the club means to the loyal fans that follow the Daggers. Daggers legend Anwar, who is the FSF’s Diversity and Campaigns Manager, urged all the club’s supporters to offer their input into the creation of the mural, and to make sure they take this unique opportunity to have their say on the look of the Barking & Dagenham College Family Stand.
He said: “Dagenham and Redbridge FC have played such a huge role in my life, not just on the pitch where I had the most successful spell of my playing career – going from the Conference to League One, but also having the opportunity to represent such a multicultural and diverse area was important for me as the first British Asian captain in the Football League.
“In my role with the Fans for Diversity campaign, Kick It Out and the FSF are aiming to encourage more diversity within the match day crowd and I see my old stomping ground as the perfect place to encourage people from all communities, regardless of their background, upbringing or living situation, old and young, to watch live football in a safe and welcoming environment.”
Rishi Jain, Kick It Out’s Football League Clubs Development Officer, said: “It’s great for Kick It Out and the FSF to have such an important involvement in what is going to be a striking piece of work; focusing on the history of Dagenham and Redbridge and the communities that the club is built around. We’re really looking forward to seeing how this translates into immortalised artwork in the form of a mural. For a club to take the lead on an equality-based project is really encouraging.”
Teresa Parish, Dagenham and Redbridge Community Liaison Officer, said: “Dagenham and Redbridge FC is at the heart of the local community and to bring the Barking and Dagenham College Family Stand to life in this way with input from our supporters is typical of the way the club is run. It’s a fantastic opportunity to immortalise some of the people connected with the club and some of the highlights of the club’s journey. We are looking forward to seeing the ideas that come forward.”
Ideas for the mural need to submitted via email to Anwar Uddin on firstname.lastname@example.org by January 16. Ideas can also be brought into the club itself by January 15.