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Honour Emma Clarke - a night of celebration at the RSA

1 November 2018

Honour Emma Clarke - a night of celebration at the RSA

Celebrating the life of Emma Clarke, the first black British female football pioneer

Women in Football co-founder Anna Kessel and award-winning consultant Michelle Moore co-hosted a fantastic evening at the RSA celebrating the life of Emma Clarke, the first black female football pioneer.

A stellar panel of Emma Dabiri, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff and Eartha Pond provided for a fascinating discussion, actress Tanya Loretta Dee produced a mesmerising performance as a young Emma Clarke, whilst youngsters from Football Beyond Borders made a powerful, vocal contribution.

Ebony-Jewel Rainford-Brent, the first black female England international cricketer, joined in the fun and snapped a quick selfie on stage too!

The message at the end of an uplifting night enjoyed by a sell-out crowd was quite simple - that it was about time to #HonourEmmaClarke.

Just 24 hours later, The FA backed our calls to honour Emma, who first featured for the British Ladies' team in 1895 and went on to appear at stadiums such as Wembley, St James' Park and Portman Road.

"A blue plaque on her childhood home would be brilliant," said Anna."It would also be lovely to see the ground on which she made her debut recognised.

"I know English Heritage have rules about where a plaque can be attached - on an existing original building - however there are no existing buildings left on the pitch in north London where Clarke played. Maybe English Heritage could rethink their criteria.

"There could also be a statue of Clarke on Wembley Way. When female fans go to watch football at Wembley, they see the statue of England men's World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore, which is great - but wouldn't it also be great to see one of the incredible women players we've had in this country?

"At the moment there are only two statues of sportswomen in the UK - that's 1% of the total."

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