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KUGALI AND KICK IT OUT COMMEMORATE BLACK BRITISH FOOTBALLING
HEROES BY BUILDING AR STATUES OF THEM ON SNAPCHAT
Kugali, a collective of Black creators has worked with Snap to tell the stories of England’s
historic Black footballers as part of an ongoing initiative to educate on Britain’s Black history
Embargoed until 00:01am 10 June 2021: Ahead of the European Championships, Augmented Reality
statues of four of England’s greatest black footballers have been unveiled and photographed at Wembley
alongside the statue World Cup winning England Captain Bobby Moore OBE, as they are launched on
Snapchat.
Eartha Pond, John Barnes, Rachel Yankey and Viv Anderson. Four of England’s greatest and most
influential footballing heroes. Yet they all share two things in common, all of them are Black, and none
have been commemorated with a statue, until now.
In fact, while Black footballers are estimated to make up over 25% of the professional players across
England’s 92 clubs, until 10 years ago, out of over 200 statues of footballers in the UK, not a single one
depicted a Black footballer.
In the last ten years that has started to change, with five statues have being erected that depict Black
players; Thierry Henry at The Emirates in 2011, Arthur Wharton was unveiled by the FA at St George’s
Park in 2014 and most recently a statue of ‘The Three Degrees’ – Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunningham and
Brendon Batson – was unveiled in 2019 in West Brom.
Camera company Snap, partnered with Kugali and Kick it Out to change that – and celebrate Black
footballers in England through AR ahead of the Euros. The statues will appear as a Lens on the Snapchat
Carousel and by scanning a Snapcode, allow Snapchatters to learn about some of the nation’s greatest
footballers through digital statues detailing the careers and achievements of icons Eartha Pond, John
Barnes, Rachel Yankey and Viv Anderson:
● Eartha Pond has played at the highest level in Women’s Football for teams such as Arsenal and
Chelsea winning what is now known as the FA WSL and numerous FA Cups. Having grown up in
statistically one of the most deprived areas in the UK, Eartha remains an inspirational member of
her community as a re-elected local Councillor, Assistant Headteacher and ‘Trustee on the
ground’ at local charity Avenues Youth Project.
● John Charles Barnes, a major choice in any hall of fame, is not only famous for winning two
league titles with Liverpool and two cup finals at Wembley, his impact went far beyond the football
world. The Jamaica-born player was the first high-profile Black player to grace Anfield in the
1980’s.
● Rachel Aba Yankey was by no surprise the first professional female football player, registered
on England’s national team. Previously ranked among Arsenal Ladies Legends for her skill and
determination, she now not only fights for gender equality, but for racial equality as well within the
football industry.
● Vivian Anderson was most famous for being the first professional football player of African
descent to play for England’s national football team. He graced various other clubs throughout the
1970’s and 1980’s including Nottingham Forest, Arsenal, Manchester United and Sheffield
Wednesday.
The Lens also links to Kick It Out’s website, detailing the ongoing battle against racism in football.
Troy Townsend, Head of Player Engagement at Kick It Out said: “We’re pleased to be part of this
project, which shines a light on brilliant footballing talent, and the contributions they’ve made to the game
over the years. It is an opportunity to celebrate Black icons and share their stories, in a new and
innovative way.”
Snap’s innovative technology allows users to see some of the most iconic, important and uncelebrated
Black British footballers in a new dimension, including a celebration pose, in their club and England kit.
Through Snap’s AR, Snapchatters can also learn some insightful facts about each player.
Tobi Ruth Adebekun, SnapNoir Europe Lead said: “At Snap, we believe that Augmented Reality is a
powerful format for storytelling and began thinking last year about how we can use our technology and
platform to tell stories that are rarely ever told. We’re grateful to have partners in Kick It Out who have
been at the forefront of making change in football in the UK, and creative partners in Kugali who are
dedicated to telling African stories. Together, we hope that these Lenses educate Snapchatters on Black
British history and inspire them to seek out different stories and perspectives.”
The Lens was built by Kugali Media, a leading augmented reality experience creator founded to spread
African storytelling, and one of Snapchat’s Official Lens Creators. Kugali’s AR experiences have been
viewed, shared and enjoyed by millions of people.
Hamid Ibrahim, Founder at Kugali said: “We are thrilled to be working with Snapchat on such an
important initiative. Kugali exists to spread and support the creative expression of African storytelling, so
the idea of celebrating the history of British people of African descent in this way was really exciting to us.
Black British History is full of incredible people and stories that deserve to be told. This Lens is a virtual
award of recognition, the first of a series in which Snapchatters will be able to learn about people they
may not have heard of or know very little about from the fields of football, healthcare and education.”
The partnership is the first part of a series of activities designed to celebrate, pay homage to and help
educate around lesser-known and under celebrated Black heroes in the UK. The lens is freely available
now to use from anywhere.
ENDS
Notes to Editors:
How to find and use the Lens:
● To use the new ‘BlackBritishPlayer’ lens by Kugalimedia, simply open up the Snapchat camera and
select the gold football icon on the carousel. If it isn’t there, scan the Snapcode below or search for
BlackBritishPlayer in Lens Explorer on Snapchat.
● Once you open the lens, tap through to see and learn about the iconic Black football heroes through
augmented reality and tap the info icon to read about their achievements.
About Snap Inc:
Snap Inc. is a camera company. We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest
opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate. We contribute to human progress by
empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun
together. For more information, visit snap.com.
About Hamid Imbrahim, founder of Kugali:
Hamid is a Ugandan born Artist with a background in Animation, VFX and XR. Co-founder and creative
director of Kugali Media, using his experience to lead African media to internationally-adjacent levels of
quality. Kugali is a leading augmented reality experience creator and one of Snapchat’s Official Lens
Creators. Kugali’s AR experiences have been viewed, shared and enjoyed by millions of people.
About Viv Anderson:
Vivian Anderson was most famous for being the first professional football player of African descent to play
for England’s national football team. He graced various other clubs throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s
including Nottingham Forest, Arsenal, Manchester United and Sheffield Wednesday. Now, Viv is
determined to be an advocate for racial justice and urges needed change in the football industry.
About John Barnes:
John Charles Barnes, a major choice in any hall of fame, is not only famous for winning two league titles
with Liverpool and two cup finals at Wembley, his impact went far beyond the football world. The
jamaican-born player was the first high-profile black player to grace Anfield in the 1980’s. Now a beloved
commentator for ESPN and SuperSport, he continues to be a catalyst for racial change.
About Eartha Pond:
Since the young age of 14 Eartha Pond has played at the highest level in Women’s Football for teams
such as Arsenal and Chelsea winning what is now known as the FA WSL and numerous FA Cups.
Having grown up in statistically one of the most deprived areas in the UK, Eartha remains an inspirational
member of her community as a re-elected local Councillor, Assistant Headteacher and ‘Trustee on the
ground’ at local charity Avenues Youth Project. Living and enforcing her mantra ‘We can, We must, We
will’ through her own charity the ESP Foundation, Eartha continues to shape the lives of many.
About Rachel Yankey:
Rachel Aba Yankey was by no surprise the first professional football player, registered on England’s
national team. Previously ranked among Arsenal Ladies Legends for her skill and determination, she now
not only fights for gender equality, but for racial equality as well within the football industry.

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