On This Day

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

Bellew Bounces Back

 29 May 2016 - Tony Bellew challenges  for the WBC cruiserweight title, vs  Ilunga Makabu (19-1, 18 KOs), who had not lost since his debut back in 2008, at Goodison Park in Liverpool. Bellew overcame a first-round knock-down to deliver a thunderous knockout of Makabu and become WBC cruiserweight champion, winning his first world title. 


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Big Band Leader Ellington Starts Gooning Around on the BBC

28 May 1951 -The Goon Show began broadcasting. This was a British radio comedy programme, originally produced and broadcast by the BBC Home Service from 1951 to 1960, The show featured regular appearances by Singer and Big Band Leader Ray Ellington. 

Sajid The First

27 May 2019 -Home Secretary Sajid Javid becomes the latest MP to join the race for the Conservative Party leadership.

Announcing his candidacy on Twitter, Mr Javid said that "first and foremost, we must deliver Brexit".

He is the ninth member of the Tory Party to confirm he is running, and whoever wins will become the next UK prime minister.However he is the first ever MP of BAME heritage to run for the leadership of one of the main Political Parties.   

It follows the announcement by Theresa May on Friday 24 May that she would stand down as leader on 7 June.

Thanks also to The BBC for the above information.

Frank Bowling Makes History At The Royal Academy

26 May 2005 -Frank Bowling is  elected a member of England's Royal Academy of Arts.He was among about a dozen artists proposed to fill one of two vacancies in the 80-member academy, and is the first Black artist to be elected a Royal Academician in the history of the institution.

Oxbrigde First For Alleyne

25 May 2019 -Sonita Alleyne, 51, is elected as the next master of Jesus College, Cambridge and thus becomes the first black woman appointed to lead an Oxbridge college.She will also  be its first female appointee and will take up the role from October 2019.

Businesswoman and entrepreneur Ms Alleyne said it was "an honour to be elected to lead Jesus College".

"I left Cambridge 30 years ago, but it never left me. I am delighted to be returning," she said.

Brought up in East London, Ms Alleyne studied for her undergraduate degree in philosophy at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

With thanks to The BBC for the above information

West Indian Standing Committee Formed

24 May 1958 -Start date of the West Indian Standing Conference (WISC) founded with aims to fight or equality in education, housing and employment. The group unites the Caribbean diaspora in opposition to racism. The group founded by J A Hunte( seen here protesting some years later against Enoch Powell) that is loosely associated with this founding group, is still active today. 

See Hall of Fame for Biography

Thompson Breaks Own World Record

23 May 1982 - Olympic Champion and Decathlon World Record Holder, DaleyThompson breaks his own World Record at an Invitation Athletics Meeting in  Götzis, Austria with a points total over the 10 Events of 8704.

Publishing Powerhouse Launches

22 May 1967 -Allison & Busby is  founded by Margaret Busby and Clive Allison. Busby was born in Ghana, of Trinidadian heritage. She met Clive Allison while studying at the University of London, leading to a successful business partnership. They published several poetry volumes on a part-time basis before committing themselves full-time to the publishing house from 1969

Orville Blair In Racist Murder

21 May 1991 - Alleged  racist murder of Orville Blair, falsely suspected being a burglar he was confronted and killed. Orville’s murderer was eventually arrested and convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Charles The First

20 May 1962 - John Charles of West Ham becomes the first black player to represent England football team at any level. It was not Viv Anderson or latterly discovered England Schoolboy Benjamin Odeje in 1971 (or indeed the unrecognised Cliff Marshall who debuted in the same Schoolboys Match vs Northen Ireland at Wembley). And even going further back Paul Reaney of Leeds who made his full debut for England in 1968 but was never recognised as Black. John Charles played in back to back England Youth Team Friendly Matches vs Israel in Tel Aviv on 20 May and 22 May 1962. See Hall of Fame for biography

Photograph: Media Storehouse.

Strong Song by Siffre

19 May 1988 - Labbi Siffres Song , 'Something Inside So Strong' wins the 1988 Ivor Novello award for best song musically and lyrically. It was sung as an anti-apartheid anthem in apartheid South Africa and is used worldwide by gay groups, women’s groups, disability groups, sexual abuse recovery groups and many other organisations (Amnesty International, for example) as an anthem of self-empowerment.



West Brom Want Moore

18 May 2018 - Relegated from the Premier League, West Brom  appoint Darren Moore as their new manager.

The former Baggies defender, 44, led them on an unbeaten run in April as caretaker manager having replaced Alan Pardew, with three wins and two draws.

But he was unable to save Albion, who were 10 points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League when he took over.

Chief executive Mark Jenkins said Moore "embodies the spirit of the club and the spirit of what we are striving to achieve in this new chapter ahead".

Moore played for West Brom from 2001 until 2006, twice helping them to promotion to the Premier League.

After succeeding Pardew he oversaw 1-0 victories away at Manchester United and Newcastle to earn the Manager of the Month award for April, and added a home win over Tottenham in May.


With thanks to the BBC for the above information.

Randolph Turpin Commits Suicide Aged 38

17 May 1966 -Former World Champion Boxer, Randolph Turpin,38,  commits suicide by gunshot after becoming depressed about his bankruptcy and tax issues with the Inland Revenue . He left behind a Wife and three daughters ( the youngest of which was also shot by Turpin but survived.) He had pulled off one of the biggest shocks in Boxing history in 1951 when he defeated the best pound for pound boxer in the world, Sugar Ray Robinson.

Magid Makes Muslim History

16 May 2018 - Magid Magid is elected as Sheffield's new Lord Mayor and marks many firsts for the 28-year-old black, Muslim and former refugee.. He is the first Somali-born mayor, first Green Party mayor, and at 28, he's the youngest mayor ever elected to the city. See Hall of Fame for more information.

Muhammad Ali Meets Notting Hill Carnival Founder

15 May 1966 -World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Muhammad Ali , visits the home of the Notting Hill Carnival Founder, Rhaune Laslett and  a children’s home in Notting Hill London . The American legend respected the incredible fan base he had in England and particularly amongst the black immigrant community. 

Samuel Dies In Tragic Car Crash

15 May 2018 - Former Aston Villa and Bolton defender Jlloyd Samuel dies in a car crash in Cheshire. The 37-year-old, was most recently player-manager of non-league side Egerton.

Samuel made 199 appearances for Villa after signing with the club in 1998, and played 83 times for Bolton between 2007 and 2011.

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association said he had "collided with an oncoming vehicle".

With thanks to the BBC for the above information. 

Immigration Act Receives Royal Assent

14 May 2014 - The 2014 Immigration Act receives  royal assent. 

The Government says it  will: prevent illegal immigrants accessing and abusing public services or the labour market;end the abuse of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to respect for family and private life and introduce changes to the removals and appeals system, making it easier and quicker to remove those with no right to be here.

Kal Still King

13 May 2017 - WBA World super flyweight champion Kal Yafai (22-0, 14 KOs) wins  a tougher than predicted 12 round unanimous decision victory over #10 WBA Suguru Muranaka (25-3-1, 8 KOs)  at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, England. The judges scored the fight 118-108, 119-107, and 119-107. 

With thanks to Boxing News 24  for the above information.

Amos In Historic First

12 May 2003 - Valerie Amos wins a place in history when she became the first black woman to be appointed to the cabinet. She will serve as Minister for Overseas Development in the Government led by Tony Blair and the Labour Party. 

Bob Marley Dies

11th May 1981 -The Death of the Jamacian but UK and global Reggae Icon Robert Nesta Marley "Bob" Marley is announced from Miami New York.Marley died at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami (now University of Miami Hospital), aged 36. The spread of melanoma to his lungs and brain caused his death. His final words to his son Ziggy were "Money can't buy life."

Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer-songwriter, musician and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim,blending mostly reggae, ska and rocksteady in his compositions. Starting out in 1963 with the group the Wailers, he forged a distinctive songwriting and vocal style that would later resonate with audiences worldwide. The Wailers would go on to release some of the earliest reggae records with producer Lee "Scratch" Perry.

After the Wailers disbanded in 1974,Marley pursued a solo career upon his relocation to England that culminated in the release of the album Exodus in 1977, which established his worldwide reputation and elevated his status as one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, with sales of more than 75 million records. Exodus stayed on the British album charts for 56 consecutive weeks. It included four UK hit singles: "Exodus", "Waiting in Vain", "Jamming", and "One Love". In 1978, he released the album Kaya, which included the hit singles "Is This Love" and "Satisfy My Soul". The greatest hits album, Legend, was released in 1984, three years after Marley died. It subsequently became the best-selling reggae album of all time.


Thompson In Rugby League First

10 May 1951 - Cecil 'Cec' Thompson becomes Britain's first black Rugby League player,in the 20-15 victory over New Zealand at Odsal, Bradford 

Stormzy Storms The Rich List

9 May 2019 - Chart-topping grime artist Stormzy debuts on Sunday Times Rich List as the  17th richest musician in the UK and Ireland  with £16m.


Alexander The First

8 May 1993 - Lincoln's Keith Alexander becomes  the first full-time black professional manager in the Football League as he takes caretaker control of the final match of the 1992/3 Season. He was employed on a permanent basis for the 1993/94 Football League season.

Alvarez Too Good For Khan

7 May 2016 - Amir Khan  moves  two weight divisions to middleweight, to fight Saul "Canelo" Álvarez (46–1–1, 32 KOs) for his lineal, Ring and WBC middleweight championship titles. The fight took place at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The bout was on HBO PPV.

Khan lost to Álvarez by way of knockout in Round 6. Although many believe Khan was ahead on points including ESPN, two of the ringside judges had Álvarez ahead after five round (49–46 & 48–47), the third judge had Khan ahead (48–47).[127] With the scorecards heading towards a split decision halfway through the fight, Khan admitted, "it may have been a blessing being knocked out in the 6th round, rather than an upset loss on the scorecards after 12 rounds.

Alvarez's official purse for the bout was $3.5 million and Khan had a base purse of $2 million. With the event hitting at least 500,000 buys, Alvarez would see his earning reach up to $20 million and Khan's earning around $13 million, plus BoxNation TV deal.

The fight generated a live gate of $7,417,350, according to figures released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. That total came from 13,072 tickets sold, far short of a sellout. 

On pay-per-view, the fight sold around 600,000 PPV buys and grossed more than $30million. This made it one of the biggest recent PPV fights, behind Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Álvarez, and surpassing Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley III and Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Andre Berto.

Mandela Meets The Lawrences

6 May 1993 -The ANC leader Nelson Mandela spent part of the last day of his visit to Britain meeting the family of stabbed teenager, Stephen Lawrence. His interest in the murder helped bring the Case to national attention and soon after the first arrests were made. The Lawrence's credited Nelson Mandela with the arrests because the Police did not make any arrests previously armed with the same information. The Police maintained the involvement of Nelson Mandela did not impact on their investigation or arrests in the case.