FORMER Cwmbran Town player and manager Sean Wharton was guest speaker at the first meeting of a new Cross Party Group on Race Equality in the Senedd, organised by Newport East MP John Griffiths.

Mr Wharton, who also had a spell in the professional ranks at Sunderland in the late 1980s, spoke of his experiences as the first black manager in the Welsh Premier League, and of the everyday racism he had experienced throughout his life, including during his childhood growing up in Ringland in Newport.

"I was glad to welcome fellow Newportonian Sean Wharton to the event as a guest speaker, and glad to hold the inaugural meeting of this important new group," said Mr Griffiths.


"Racism and prejudice have no place in our society and it is vital we speak out against inequality whenever we see it.

"In these times of political uncertainty, it is integral we remain true to values of openness and inclusivity to ensure everyone in our communities feel safe and welcome.

"I am looking forward to working collaboratively with organisations in this group to seek tangible action points we can take to policy makers and make positive change.

"Sean is a former professional footballer for Sunderland and was the first black manager in the Welsh Premier League.

"He talked compellingly about his work with Show Racism the Red Card and discussed the everyday racism he has experienced throughout his life.

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John Griffiths AM and Sean Wharton at the meeting of the Cross Party Group on Race Equality

"Sean’s comments resonated clearly - that racism and xenophobia are sadly still so prevalent today and we need to all work together to create a fairer, more equal society. "We must combat racism and inequality in all spheres of life and communities in Wales and I hope this group will provide an open, inclusive forum to facilitate change.”