Dean received racist abuse from a motorist whilst delivering a football fun & fitness session for SRtRC.
It's important that we turn this incident into a positive and it was great how the children were very unhappy about what this person did. They reacted in a brilliant way which shows we are getting the message across. It will help them learn that racism has no place in society.
Dean Gordon, ex-professional footballer and SRtRC coach.
Police are hunting a motorist who hurled racial abuse at ex-Middlesbrough and SRtRC coach, Dean Gordon, outside a school.
The former Riverside star was shocked when a man wound down his window and shouted "Taliban" as he led a fitness class with pupils in Sunderland. Ironically, Dean was hosting an anti-racist event for 11 year olds on behalf of the charity Show Racism the Red Card. The Whitley Bay based group uses footballers to spread the message that intolerance of other cultures is unacceptable in the game and in society.
Dean, who lives in Sunderland, made 63 league appearances for Boro between 1998 and 2002 and has since been a leading speaker and coach for SRtRC.
The incident happened on May 26 in Dock Street, in the Monkwearmouth area of the city. Dean told the Sunday Sun: "I was out on the school field with the pupils and a teacher when we heard a horn beeping and something being shouted. Although I didn't hear it clearly myself the teacher told me the driver had shouted "Taliban". The teacher and children were shocked and upset. The police were called straight away and arrived in 20 minutes. It's brilliant that the incident was taken seriously. We gave officers statements and gave descriptions of the car and the man involved, and I'm hoping they catch up with him.
"Racism is unacceptable in any form and especially around children. The kids were asking me "why did the man say that?". They were upset but after the police got involved it was a great lesson for them that racism will get you in trouble."
Dean who made a name for himself as a pacy left-back has praised the reaction of police and the school.
"It's important that we turn this incident into a positive and it was great how the children were very unhappy about what this person did. They reacted in a brilliant way which shows we are getting the message across. It will help them to learn that racism has no place in society. It's important that the next generation of adults are taught to be accepting of everyone.
"The police are taking this very seriously as well which is a credit to them and they responded very quickly and efficiently to the call."
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "We received a report at 9.45am on May 26 of someone making racist remarks in Dock Street in Sunderland. Investigations into the incident are ongoing."
Words: Sunday Sun.