First Black Liverpool player ‘gutted’ at having to leave club he’s loved all his life
(Image: Danny Rigg)
The history-making first Black Liverpool FC footballer said having to leave his home-town club was a “gut-wrencher.”
Howard Gayle, 63, made history as the first Black person to train at the club’s then-training ground at Melwood ground, and to play with their first team after joining LFC in 1977.
But he left the club in 1982 after only a handful of appearances in the first team, and says he was told he would be better off finding a new club.
“It was a gut-wrencher when you hear that. And my Liverpool career was over. So it was a question now of, I’ve got to put it all behind me, and I went and found another club where I can progress and develop again.”
The reserve right-winger ran rings around Bayern Munich in the European Cup semi-final of 1981.
Brought on as a substitute for the injured Kenny Dalglish, he was met with a chorus of monkey noises and the sight of Nazi salutes from some of the German fans as he warmed up.
Howard was himself substituted after 61 minutes when he received a yellow card for lashing out at a Bayern player after an hour of aggressive tackles from the opposing team.