On This Day

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

Watson In Tragic Boxing Rematch

21 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.


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Ed Sheeran: I owe my career to Jamal Edwards

20 September 2022 - Pop singer Ed Sheeran has paid tribute to Jamal Edwards, saying he owed his career to his late friend's support. The star was speaking at a memorial for Edwards, who founded the online music platform SBTV and was made an MBE for services to music in 2014.

The entrepreneur died in February at the age of 31.

"I really don't think I would have been given the opportunities that I was given had it not been for Jamal putting his arm around me," Sheeran said.

"I was slogging on the acoustic singer-songwriter scene for a very long time, just blending in... And Jamal was this sort of tastemaker."

Edwards gave Sheeran his first break on in 2010, getting him to perform the future single You Need Me, I Don't Need You on his YouTube channel.

That video was how the star's manager, Stuart Camp, and record label Atlantic first discovered him.

"A lot of people assume that [because] I write songs and I perform, I probably would" have become famous anyway, Sheeran said.

"I actually don't agree with that... I was one of many.

"I really don't think I would have been allowed through certain doors if it hadn't been for Jamal," he continued, adding: "He was just all about finding people and showing people new opportunities, at a time where the industry was mostly based in London."


With thanks to The BBC for the above information

Honour Killing Murderers Jailed

19 September 2007 - Conivctions are made for the murder and so called "honour killing" of Surjit Athwal, a 27-year-old Sikh who disappeared after going to a family wedding in India in December 1998. Her mother-in-law Bachan Athwal, a mother of six and grandmother of 16, ordered Surjit's death at a family meeting after discovering that her daughter-in-law, a customs officer at Heathrow airport, had been having an affair and wanted a divorce from her son Sukhdave. The 70-year-old was ordered to spend a minimum of 20 years in jail for the murder, while her son, 43, was sentenced a minimum of 27 years behind bars.

With thanks to the Guardian for the above information.

Ofili Turner Prize First

18 September 1997 - The Holy Virgin Mary  a painting created by Chris Ofili in 1996  is  one of the works included in the Sensation exhibition in London, Berlin and New York in 1997–2000. The 1996 painting was "enhanced" with Elephant Dung. The subject of the work, and its execution, caused considerable controversy in New York, with Rudolph Giuliani – then Mayor of New York City – describing Ofili's work as "sick". In 1998, Ofili was the first black artist to be awarded the Turner Prize.

BNP Wins First Council Seat

17 Septmeber 1993 - Concerns of potential spike in racial tensions as The British National Party wins its first council seat in a by-election in Milwall, east London.

16th Asian Awards Held On The 16th

16 September 2016 -Hosted by Asian Business Publications, Ltd (ABPL), the Asian Achievers Awards is  held  at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel . The Event continues to  highlight individuals who are making a difference and excelling in their respective professions.

Since launching in 2000, the Asian Achievers Awards has helped to raise millions of pounds for charity and this year the chosen charity partner is the Indian Ocean Disaster Relief (IODR). The money raised will go towards victims of the tragic Nepal earthquake.

Winners from 2015 include noted author Romesh Gunasekera; human rights campaigner Jasvinder Sanghera; cricket star Moeen Ali; businessman and philanthropist Lord Rumi Verjee and Lance Corporal Tuljung Gurung, who was awarded the Military Cross for his heroics on the Afghan front.

Death Of Community Giant

15 September 2010 -Trinidad-born Frank Crichlow,dies. Frank Crichlow was dedicated to fighting for rights of the UK’s black community.He sprung to national awareness because of the 1970 Mangrove Trials

Sampha Completes The Mercury Process

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

Distinguished War Conduct Awards awarded.

13 September 1914 -Distinguished Conduct Medals  awarded to Sergeant Miydiyo of 4th Battalion during the battle against German forces at Kisii, Kenya, and Colour Sergeant Kumani of 1st Battalion on 7 October 1914 at Gazi.The King's African Rifles (KAR) was a multi-battalion British colonial regiment raised from Britain's various possessions in formerly British East Africa to the present-day African Great Lakes region from 1902 until independence in the 1960s. The Regiment fought with distinction in both World Wars against the armies of Germany, Italy, Vichy France and Japan. Rank and file Africans were called Askaris.

Photo: National Portrait Gallery

Hamilton Avoids Serious Injury In 'near death' Race Crash

12 September 2021 -  McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo won the Italian Grand Prix after a frightening crash between title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

Red Bull's Verstappen flipped up beside Hamilton as the pair battled for position, the rear of Verstappen's car landing on Hamilton's Mercedes, the halo head protection device possibly saving the seven-time champion from injury.

"I feel very fortunate today," said Hamilton. "Thank God for the halo which saved me, and saved my neck."

The Briton added: "I am so grateful I am still here. I feel incredibly blessed that someone was watching over me today. 

"I don't think I've ever been hit on the head by a car before - and it is quite a big shock for me.

"We are taking risks and it's only when you experience something like that that you get the real shock of how you look at life and how fragile we all are.

"If you look at the images of the crash, my head is really quite far forward in the cockpit."


With thanks to The BBC for the above information 

Blue Plaque For George Roberts

11 September 2016 -Family, politicians and firefighters honour one of the first black men to serve in the army and the London Fire Brigade, with a Blue Plaque being unveiled at his Camberwell home.

Born in Trinidad in 1890, George Arthur Roberts served in the First World War and went on to become a firefighter throughout the Blitz and rest of the Second World War.

In 1944 he was awarded the British Empire Medal “for general duties at New Cross Fire Station” and for his part as a founder and pioneer of the Discussion and Education groups of the fire service.

With thanks to Southwark News for the above information 

Gilt Commeration ToThe End of Transatlantic Slave Trade

8 September 2018 - Gilt of Cain is unveiled by the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in Fen Court, City of London, in September 2008. The artwork, a collaboration by sculptor Michael Visocchi and poet Lemn Sissay, It commemorates the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. 

Benjamin Zephaniah's Cousin, Michael Powell, Dies in Police Custody.

7 September 2003 The cousin of Actor and Poet Benjamin Zephaniah, Michael Powell, 38, dies after being arrested by police in Lozellâs, Birmingham. His family called the police after he began behaving erratically. During the course of the struggle to restrain him, Michael was knocked over by a police car and then, according to witnesses, restrained by police using batons and CS spray. Six officers were suspended. Protests follow later in Birmingham attended by Benjamin Zephaniah.

Historic Cabinet Appointments By New Prime Minister Truss

6 September 2022 - Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister of the UK replacing the resigned Boris Johnson made truly historic appointments in her first Cabinet. For the first time none of the great offices of state is held by a white man, with Suella Braverman as home secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor and James Cleverly as foreign secretary.

With thanks also The BBC for the above information. 

Historic Cabinet Appointments By New Prime Minister Truss

6 September 2022 - Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister of the UK replacing the resigned Boris Johnson made truly historic appointments in her first Cabinet. For the first time none of the great offices of state is held by a white man, with Suella Braverman as home secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor and James Cleverly as foreign secretary.

With thanks also The BBC for the above information. 

Flamingo First For Britain

5 September 1961 - Flamingo a groundbreaking magazine is launched. Mixing glamour, sex advice, culture and international politics, it was one of the first magazines to target Britain’s African-Caribbean community.

It ran from September 1961 until May 1965 and at its peak sold up to 20,000 copies in the UK and 15,000 in the US. It was also distributed in the Caribbean and West Africa, and published dedicated editions in Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia. It carried interviews with Malcolm X and advertisements for Island Records, which brought Jamaican ska music to Britain.

With thanks to The Guardian for the above information. See Timeline 26 January 2019 

Gunner Dies On Duty

4 September 2006 - Gunner Samuela Vanua, from 12 Regiment Royal Artillery, dies in a roadside explosion near Ad Dayr, north of Basra.

His commanding officer, Lt Col Jon Campbell, said he got to know the 27-year-old in July when they had been on patrol together.

"I was impressed by his excellent attitude, infectious cheerfulness, conduct and confidence," he said.

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

Britain's First Voluntary-Aided Muslim School

3 September 1985 - Brent Council in London gives  its support to the establishment in the borough of what would be Britain's first voluntary-aided Muslim school. The school would have 85% of its capital costs and the salaries of seven teachers paid by the council, while remaining under the control of the Mosque. Many voluntary-aided Church of England, Roman Catholic and Jewish schools were already in existence but previous attempts to establish Muslim schools had failed to win the support of the local authority.

Islamia Primary was opened in 1983 as a private school after protests that local schools in Brent did not cater for the religious needs of Muslim pupils.

Ron Anderson, the Labour group's education spokesperson, said that although Labour would not oppose the proposal, it feared the establishment of such a school might mean an excuse for not meeting the needs of Muslim pupils in the maintained schools.

With thanks to The Runnymede Trust for the above information.

Malcolm: From Sprinter To Athletics Head Coach

2 September 2020 - Former British Olympic sprinter Christian Malcolm to be named the new head coach of UK Athletics.

Malcolm is currently head of performance at Australia Athletics but BBC Sport has learned the 41-year-old Welshman has been offered the job.

Malcolm is a former world, European and Commonwealth Games medallist and competed at two Olympics.

He is understood to have been chosen ahead of Stephen Maguire and Peter Eriksson, and will have less than a year to prepare for the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

Since retiring as an athlete in 2014, Malcolm has fulfilled coaching roles with the successful British relay squads, as well as working with the UK Paralympic team and Disability Wales.

He won the UK Sports Awards HP Coach of the Year and BBC Wales Coach of the Year in 2017 and worked as a speed coach for the England cricket team and Wales rugby team.

He moved to Australia last year with the aim to make Australian athletes more competitive at elite level.

With thanks to The BBC for the above information. 

Marine Windall Killed In Action

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.



Mayor Opens Britains First Multicultural Theatre

1 September 2016 -  Mayor of London Sadiq Khan opened the renovated 356 Garratt Lane as Britain's first multicultural theatre - the new Tara Theatre. 

Seni Lewis killed by Police

31st August 2010  -Olaseni Lewis, known as Seni to his family and friends, dies after being restrained by up to 11 policemen whilst he was seeking help as a vulnerable voluntary patient at the Bethlem Royal Hospital, Croydon.He had been admitted early in the evening of Tuesday 31 August 2010 and had been at the hospital for only a few hours before this incident occurred. See Also 1 November 2018

Public Inquiry To Decide Fate Of "Museum"

26 August 2019 - Camden Council confirm date of Public Inquiry for 24 September 2019 that will decide the fate of "Ambedkar House" - the official but not approved by the Council Museum of "Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Indian Crusader of Social Justice lived here 1921-22," as proclaimed by  a blue plaque outside the house.Known as Ambedkar House, the building was bought by the government of Maharashtra, a state in western India, for more than £3m ($3.65m) in 2015. Hundreds of visitors - including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured at opening in November 2015) have flocked from around the world to the townhouse in King Henry's Road NW3 . Dr Ambedkar - a Maharashtra native who died in 1956 - was a legal scholar, a passionate civil rights activist and the man tasked with drafting the country's constitution after its independence in 1947. He was also India's first law minister.

However, two neighbouring residents are opposed to the museum which, according to the local council, should not exist. They complained to the council, in north-west London, about alleged disturbances caused by "coach loads" of visitors making "noise day and night".

In January 2018, Ambedkar House was reported to Camden Council for a planning breach, and the council found that the building did not have permission to operate as a museum.

In February 2018, the property's owners retrospectively applied for permission to use the building as a museum. But in October 2018, the council rejected the claim, arguing that it would amount to an "unacceptable loss" of residential space.

The government of Maharashtra has appealed the decision and a public inquiry is scheduled for 24 September.

Thanks largely to The BBC for the above information. 

Lively Leeds Carnival Takes Place

25 August 1997 - Leeds hold their annual carnival . Notting Hill Carnival in London is one of several held in several cities across the Country during the annual August Bank Holidays




With thanks to Leeds Museum & Galleries -Catalogue Reference:LMG/LEEDM.P.2003.2.40


Simply Clyde Best

25th August 1969 Clyde Best makes his debut for West Ham in a 1–1 home draw against Arsenal on 25 August 1969 at the age of 18. His first goal for the Hammers came during League Cup competition, in a 4–2 win against Halifax Town, on 3 September 1969.  Through the exposure of Television, he became a role model for many UK based black aspiring footballers. See Hall of Fame for Biography.