On This Day

In this section, we remember significant achievements and moments from Black and Asian history

September 2000

24 September 2000 - Denise Lewis clinches the Gold Medal in the 8 event Hepthalon at the Sydney Olympics - the first female from GB to ever do so. In the 2000 New Year Honours, Lewis was promoted to Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), having already been appointed MBE in the 1999 New Year Honours.  


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September 1959

23 September 1959 - Death of leading Pan-Africanist, journalist, and author, George Padmore. See Hall of Fame for detailed biography. 

September 2005

22 September 2005 - A Report  Asians Can Play Football: a Wasted Decade, is published. 

Apart from Chopra and Sansara, there is barely a handful of Asian players at any pro fessional level in the British game. Jas Bains, author of the report argues that "within the Asian footballing community there is a feeling that the FA as a governing body has failed successive generations of young talented footballers of Asian background. 

"The pitifully low num bers of Asian professionals, set against the huge interest and passion for the sport within the com munity, are symbolic of the way in which football has discrimina ted [Asians] out of the game through stereotyping and a lack of action to address this issue."

The exclusion of British-Asians  in football was first highlighted following Bains and Patel’s (1996) ironically titled Asians Can’t Play Football report


21st September 1991

21st September 1991 - Following an eagerly awaited rematch on 21 September 1991 at White Hart Lane, Michael Watsons life changed forever. This time the vacant WBO super middleweight title was up for grabs. In round 11, with Watson ahead on points and seemingly on the verge of a stoppage victory, he knocked Eubank down with a right hook. Moments later, Eubank was back on his feet and connected with a devastating uppercut, which caused Watson to fall back and hit the back of his head against the ropes. Referee Roy Francis stopped the fight in round 12, after which Watson collapsed in the ring. There was no ambulance or paramedic at the event. Doctors wearing dinner jackets arrived after some eight minutes, during which time the fallen fighter received no oxygen. A total of 28 minutes elapsed before Watson received treatment in a hospital neurosurgical unit. He spent 40 days in a coma and had six brain operations to remove a blood clot. After regaining consciousness, he spent over a year in intensive care and rehabilitation and six more years in a wheelchair while he slowly recovered some movement and regained the ability to speak and write. Peter Hamlyn, the consultant neurosurgeon who operated on Watson, said in 2010, "I think back to those first days, and the milestone moments. The first eight months were so depressing. He couldn't hear, couldn't speak, couldn't walk. Slowly, he clawed it all back. So extraordinary.

September 2008

20 September 2008 -  More than 1,000 people joined the families and friends of knife and gun crime victims in a protest march across London, converging on Hyde Park.

Saturday's first march started at Kennington Park, while another began on Caledonian Road. Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent a video message of support. Families hit by knife crime, including those of victims killed this year, were rallying for an end to the violence.

In 2003 Lee Jasper, a race advisor to the London mayor, said drugs and gun crime were the "biggest threat to the black community since its arrival here"

In 2007, after a series of murders committed by black people, prime minister Tony Blair attributed them to a distinctive black culture: "the black community (...) need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids. But we won't stop this by pretending it isn't young black kids doing it." Some from the black community criticised his remarks but others say that failure to offically recognise a link has made the matter worse.

Can You Help Us Make History ?

Can you help us fill in for day with YOUR famous or noteworthy event in UK Black or Asian History 1900 to 2018 that took place on today's. date ? Send your nomination  to info@ourheritage.tv    

September 2006

15 September 2006-  Junior Witter claims the vacant WBC light welterweight title when he outpoints American Demarcus Corley at the Alexandra Palace in Wood Green. The reigning champ, Floyd Mayweather Jr., had relinquished the belt in order to move up to welterweight. See Hall of Fame for biography.


September 2017

14 September 2017 -Sampha's debut album, Process, wins the 2017 Mercury Prize

September 1994

13 September 1994 -  M People win the Mercury Music Prize ( an Award for the Best Music Album in the UK & Ireland) for their album  Elegant Slumming.

September 2016

12 September 2016 - Hidayat Inayat Khan ,British-French classical composer, conductor and Representative-General of the International Sufi Movement dies aged 99. See Hall of Fame  for full biography  

September 1993

11 September 1993 - Bhaji on the Beach a 1993 British comedy-drama film directed by Gurinder Chadha and written by Meera Syal is released. It is the first major British Asian comedy to be made and went on general release in January 1994.

A community group of British women (mostly Punjabis of various faiths) of different generations, take a group day out to the Blackpool Illuminations. The tensions of the generation gap torn between tradition and modernism as well as the personal upsets and issues of the women and girls come to boiling point as they spend the day out.

September 1938

10 September 1938 - Had you visited " The Old Florida Club" in London between September 1938 and February 1939  you would have seen renowned Black Artists such as the singer Adelaide  Hall  and the organist Fela Sowande(pictured) perform on a regular basis. For more information on Adelaide  Hall , see the Hall of Fame Section.


With thanks to http://www.mgthomas.co.uk for the above information 

September 1959

9 September 1959 -  O'Neil Gordon "Collie" Smith (born 5 May 1933 in Kingston, Jamaica) , a West Indian cricketer, hard-hitting batsman and off spin bowler dies from injuries sustained in a car accident  at the age of 26. During 1958 and 1959 he played for Burnley in the Lancashire League where in 1959 he set a league record of 306*.

The accident happened at 4:45am on 7 September, while he was travelling with his West Indian teammates Garry Sobers and Tom Dewdney. They were driving to London to attend a charity match, Sobers being the driver. The trip had already been delayed because of the traffic. The car ran into a 10-ton cattle truck driven by a Mr. Andrew Saunders. The accident happened on the A34 near Stone in Staffordshire.

Smith was sleeping in the back seat and was thrown forward. His injuries seemed minor initially and Smith even told Sobers, in reference to Dewdney, "Don't worry about me. Look after the big fellow." But his spine was injured badly and he soon went into a coma. He died without regaining consciousness three days later. His body was taken to Jamaica where 60,000 people attended the funeral. His tombstone in Jamaica's May PenCemetery is engraved: "Keen Cricketer, Unselfish Friend, Worthy Hero, Loyal Disciple, Happy Warrior." Sobers and Dewdney were not seriously injured, suffering lacerations and bruises.

Sobers was issued with a notice of intended prosecution. On 11 November at Stone Magistrates' Court, Sobers was found guilty of careless driving. The prosecutor said that Sobers had failed to take a bend and was in collision with a cattle truck travelling in the opposite direction. Sobers was fined £10 with £16 17s costs and had his licence suspended for a month. Sobers pleaded not guilty, claiming that he had been dazzled by oncoming headlights.


September 2012

8 September 2009 -Speech Debelle – wins the Mercury Music Prize as rank outsider in 2009, for debut album 'Speech Therapy

September 2000

7 September 2000 HRH Prince Charles gives the inaugural Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture at the Princes's Foundation, in Shoreditch London.

September 2013

6 September 2013 - Doreen Lawrence, Mother of the murdered Stephen Lawrence and community relations campaigner becomes the 14th Black person to be elevated to the House of Lords since Lord Constantine was the first in 1969. She is formally styled Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, of Clarendon in the Commonwealth Realm of Jamaica; the honour is rare for being designated after a location in a Commonwealth realm outside the United Kingdom. She sits on the Labour benches in the House of Lords as a so-called working peer.

September 2005

5 September 2005 -Fusilier Donal Meade , 20, from south east London, is killed by a roadside bomb.Fusilier Meade from the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, had been travelling in a convoy which was hit about five miles east of Shaibah airbase, in Basra province.  

With thanks to www.dailymail.co.uk for the above information and photo.

September 1982

4 September 1982 - Roberto Duran, the great Roberto Duran, fought Britains Kirkland Laing in Detroit . Duran and his people were between super-fights, the loss to Sugar Ray Leonard was 10 months earlier in a fight that made him $10m, and Laing, fresh from a win at a sporting club in Solihull, was selected as an ideal sacrifice. Duran lost in what Boxing Ring Magazine called "the Upset Fight of the Year." See Hall of Fame for biography on Kirkland Laing.

September 1964

3 September 1964 - Amar Singh wins his protest to wear his Turban on the Buses when a  spokesman for London Transport announce an about-turn on the policy — and Singh was welcomed back into the fold. He was photographed, proudly wearing his turban, complete with London Transport roundel pin badge.

September 1903

3 September 1903 - Following the sucess of the 100 member cast of the production, In Dahomey  . The show attracted black londoners who would meet in the nearby pubs. Another group of black men went into one of those pubs – and were refused service. Some newspapers reported on this: “A Colour Line in London?” (Westminster Gazette, 9 September 1903), “The Coloured Man’s Complaint” (Daily News, 9 September), and “Racial Question in the West End” (Weekly Dispatch, 13 September).


With thanks to www.jeffreygreen.co.uk for the above information

September 2006

2 September 2006 -Marine Joseph Windall, from Buckinghamshire, was one of 14 British armed services personnel who died on 2 September 2006 when the Nimrod MR2 aircraft in which they were travelling crashed near Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. With thanks to www.dailymail.co.uk for the above information and photo.



September 2005

1 September 2005 - The Institute of Asian Professionals (IAP) reveal that Asians in the UK account for more than £100bn of the country's economic output..

The survey by the Institute of Asian Professionals (IAP) found Asians - who make up 4% of the UK population - accounted for 10% of economic output.

Many successful Asian entrepreneurs figure on an IAP list of the UK's 100 most-influential Asians.

IAP Chairman Khalid Darr said many had arrived in the UK "without a penny to their name".

"Entrepreneurship, coupled with a wonderful work ethic, fuelled with a desire to better oneself, is a potent force driving the British Asian business community," Mr Darr said.

With thanks to the BBC for the above information.

August 2017

31 August 2017 -  Liverpool complete the signing of  Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ,24. The England midfielder joined Liverpool on deadline day in a deal worth up to £40m having rejected a new contract at Arsenal and the chance to join Chelsea, the champions, for a similar fee. 

August 2017

30 August 2017- The Voice Newspaper celebrates its 35th Birthday - the Newspaper has been a dedicated Media Champion on all issues concerning Black people in the UK since its first edition in August 1982 and has a readership/circulation of around 25,000 for its weekly Newspaper.

August 2003

29 August 2003 - Emotional Backgammon becomes the first all black led independent film to premiere in London's West End(ODEON). Produced in   2002 as a  British independent comedy-drama about couples strategizing to repair relationships, with unexpected results.The film was written by the actor Leon Herbert ( who featured as Lucky Gordon in the 1989 Movie Scandal ) and Matthew Hope, directed by Herbert, and stars Leon Herbert, Wil Johnson, Daniela Lavender, and Jacqueline de Peza. It is Herbert's first feature-length film. During its development it was featured on UK Channel 4's Movie Virgins series; upon its release, it received mixed reviews.