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I attended my first game in 1972 and have been an avid supporter ever since. My “Uncle Joe” took me as a 7-year-old, and I was entranced. Once a blue, always a blue, I held a season ticket for many years from teens to mid-thirties and now attend approximately 10-12 games per season. When I first went there were few BAME faces, let alone brown skinned ones. The situation is somewhat different now with many different ethnicities attending, especially on Champion’s League nights. I want those fans, often new to the Club, to feel the same connection as I do. I have worked at the British Council for 20-years on international development and am involved in improving inclusion and career progression for BAME colleagues at work. I am wholly supportive of the City Matters initiative, I believe it enhances transparency and to be transparent is to engender trust. A key reason why I want to contribute is to keep the connection between old and new supporters. I want to keep the communication between club and fan improving and by communicating openly and honestly one can build respect and trust. I want to help both the Club and fans understand each other better, resolve issues that may arise and to engender that feeling of belonging that I had as I remember joining ‘Uncle Joe’ in jumping onto his seat as Tueart or Bell scored another cracker.
I remember buying my first City kit at 8 years and getting David Rocastle printed on the back. I lived in South Manchester with my siblings, with my mum bringing us up on her own. Aside from being the only Asian family in the area, I was probably one of the few City fans of Asian heritage at that time. I had no family members who were City fans, so I have no idea why I became a Blue. Since then, City has been a part of my life (and that of my wife and three boys) who I take to City games, and sometimes my mum who went to her first game at the age of 65 when we played Lyon in the Champions League. I represent an under-represented minority who are City fans. I’m passionate about diversity and have been incredibly impressed with the provisions City have made at games, such as the prayer room and the vegan food. I am understanding by nature and have a passion for making things accessible, and it fills me with joy to find a place which accommodates my needs, as both a religious and ethnic minority. I would love to extend this privilege to other BAME demographics who require representation at the Club they love, a Club which I believe leads the way - it would be an honour to be involved with City Matters, and a role which I would carry out faithfully, with passion and responsibility.
I work as the Muslim chaplain to the two Manchester universities (MMU and UoM) I bet you did not think that would be my opening gambit! I am a lifelong blue, living a short walk away from Maine Road and representing City everywhere I go. I do not have a Seasoncard but attend matches regularly. As a chaplain, I also lead on hate crime and work with various agencies - including the CPS regularly and attend LSIP (local scrutiny involvement panels) and community conversations. I am passionate about social justice and work towards tackling discrimination in all its forms. I am a trustee for the charity WESTANDTOGETHER and my work representing the interests of the BAME and Muslim community, is extensive. I go to matches wearing my thobe (Islamic dress) and whilst I have similar needs to all supporters, they can also vary like, the requirement for Halal food and accessing the prayer room. I am applying because I want to help make a difference to the fan experience. I love this Club and will be enthusiastic and committed to make sure I represent you.