Reading FC legend Shaka Hislop has been given the Freedom of Newcastle for his work with anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card.

Trinidad and Tobago international goalkeeper Hislop first played in England for the Royals between 1992-1995, featuring more than 100 times as the side rose from the third tier to the brink of the Premier League.

The now pundit for ESPN left Berkshire to move to Newcastle United after play-off defeat in May 1995, and it was in the North-East that he was racially abused at the petrol station which prompted him to get involved with the campaign.

It now gives educational sessions to more than 50,000 individuals a year and looks to use a professional's status to make a difference.

Speaking to Sky Sports on his award, Hislop said: "It is an honour I never anticipated. I have a sense of pride when I look at what the campaign has become and the difference we have been able to make down the years.

"It was about our community and us being footballers in the North-East and wanting to give back to a City we called home.

"Football is the perfect vehicle for it [tackling racism] because of how it brings communities together and how it brings so many people from all different walks of life together, those are the lessons. When we think of football and who we are asked to be, when we lose, we are asked to go back to the training ground and work to put things right, when we win we celebrate together, I don’t feel there is a better lesson for us as citizens of a community."


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He went on to have an established career in English football, playing for West Ham and Portsmouth.

Hislop won the Reading Player of the Season Award in 1995, and was voted the club's second best goalkeeper in a recent poll.