This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.
It’s been a very busy time recently for FSF associate members the Bangla Bantams. Last night (14th November) the group’s founder Humanyun Islam was honoured at the 4th annual Asian Football Awards with the Behind the Scenes award for the work he does in bringing the local Asian community together in Bradford and engaging them with their club.
The group have also been filmed by YouTube channel 90min Football as part of their Fan Diaries series. This short documentary looks in more detail at the work they do, featuring interviews with Humayun and the FSF’s Anwar Uddin, who works with anti-discrimination group Kick It Out on our joint Fans for Diversity initiative, through whose support the group were formed.
Anwar said of Bradford and the effect the Bangla Bantams have had: “It always amazed me, the drive in towards the stadium… you could see a predominantly Asian area, a predominantly Asian community; stepping into the stadium, warming up… there wasn’t any Asian representation in the terraces.
“It’s [the Bangla Bantams’ work] about giving the community the confidence to be able to integrate with football fans, to get into the stadiums.”
As Humayun explains “Really simply it’s to create opportunities for a multi-cultural group of people to get together to go and support Bradford City.”
“Every Saturday home game we try to get as many tickets as possible… and all go together to the game. The seats change game by game, and the kids and the women will see the game from a different perspective, and also the fans will get to see the Bangla Bantams in different stands as well.”
You can watch the 90min Football documentary below.
Back in May the group also featured on the BBC’s primetime magazine show The One Show – you can still (at the time of writing) see that feature on the BBC’s iPlayer.
Supporters’ group the Bangla Bantams are developing new facilities in the shadow of Valley Parade which will benefit all supporters – from kids in the community and grassroots football to fans who’ve travelled across the country following their team.
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