61 Minutes in Munich: Howard Gayle in conversation with Emy Onuora

Monday 8th May 

In April 1981, Howard Gayle was summoned from the substitutes’ bench and sent on to play for Liverpool in the second leg of a European Cup semi-final against German champions, Bayern Munich. The previous October, by filling the same role at Manchester City, he became the first black footballer in Liverpool’s 88-year history to play at first team level. Howard’s Liverpool career proved to be short. He would pull on the red shirt only five times in total, scoring once, yet he is remembered as a trailblazer. In 61 Minutes in Munich, Howard takes you inside his life, bringing the shutters down on a childhood spent between Toxteth and Norris Green, two contrasting areas of Liverpool. He details life on the streets, the racism and other forms of abuse  and his ascent from teenage football hooligan to a player with Europe’s leading club. Howard explains what it was like to be a black man with a sense of insecurity inside a Liverpool dressing room at the most successful point in the club’s history, a place where only the strongest survived. In Munich, Howard ran Bayern’s defenders ragged and is credited as the catalyst for Liverpool’s progression to the final. And yet, by being substituted after 61 minutes on the pitch, he reveals his dismay at never being trusted to keep his cool in the most tense of environments. Part social history, part-autobiography, 61 Minutes in Munich is an exposition of life in the city of Liverpool during one of the most turbulent periods in its history. Above all it examines how a pioneer like Howard Gayle has been up against it from the moment he was born.

Emy Onuora is the author of Pitch Black, The Story of Black British Footballers. He has lectured extensively on issues of and race and sport and was the Co-edtior of the Merseyside based football fanzine What’s the Score.

Date: Monday 8th May
Venue: Toxteth Library, Windsor Street, Liverpool, L8 1XF
Doors open: 7pm 
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets available from Philharmonic Box Office: 0151 709 3789
Tickets: £6/£3

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