CHARLTON Athletic holds its fifth Red, White And Black Day at The Valley later this month, highlighting its continuing fight against racism both at local and national level.

On February 28 the Addicks face Huddersfield and the club aims to provide a carnival atmosphere.

Charlton, in conjunction with Greenwich Council, have invited a number of ethnic minority groups to the game and musical entertainment will be provided by the Woolwich Samba and Plumstead Manor School steel bands.

There will be free face painting and children from Rathmore, Orchards, Trinity and Woolwich youth centres have designed and painted four banners with an anti-racist theme.

Schools from Woolwich, Plumstead, Kidbrooke, Blackheath, Charlton, Thamesmead and Shooters Hill will be taking part in five-a-side competitions with the winners playing the final before the big game.

Charlton's community development officer Mick Everett said as recently as five years ago the number of Afro-Caribbean and Asian spectators was in single figures. An LWT survey showed that this group represented two-and-a-half per cent of Addicks supporters at the recent Middlesborough league game.

"It's fantastic - obviously it still doesn't reflect the local community. Ultimately we would like to reflect the whole borough. Our next aim is for 10 per cent I'd have thought," he said. Once that ambition is achieved the "goalposts can be moved further" he added.

Another encouraging statistic was that between 15 and 17 per cent of Charlton fans were women. "I think that shows it's a comfortable and safe environment without fear from anyone," said Everett.

q The Charlton vs QPR game was played after the News Shopper went to press.

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