Football Unites, agrees Pele13 November 2007

The world's greatest ever footballer, Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, better known as Pele, has given his full support to FARE founder member Football Unites, Racism Divides during a visit to Sheffield United on 8th November. He joined FURD and Sheffield United staff at the Legends of the Lane museum to officially unveil the new exhibition about Laurie Cunningham – the first black player to be selected to play for England – and the history of black footballers in Sheffield, along with a display about the world's oldest football club, Sheffield FC. He was presented with gifts including a Football Unites, Racism Divides t-shirt and a copy of the book 'The First Black Footballer: Arthur Wharton 1865-1930'.

The Brazilian legend said: “This is an important moment not just for me, or the club, but for everyone, and I thank God that I can be here.

“In 1958 I was 17 when I went to Sweden with Brazil for the World Cup. At that time I met the England team, and the Sweden team, and lots of other teams, and there were no black players. I could not understand that – I asked why but no one had an answer for me.

“But after ‘58 I started to notice a change and we started to have players from all over the world. Today's event shows how football brings people together and I am proud to be part of that.”

Pele was in Sheffield to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Sheffield Football Club and to promote a new development partnership between Sheffield United and former World Club champions, Brazilian club Sao Paulo.