Sir Michael Morpurgo

Sir Michael Morpurgo On 'Wonderful' Football Welcomes Weekend

Sir Michael Morpurgo, writer of War Horse, Private Peaceful and The Fox and the Ghost King, recently took part in a Q&A with Leicestershire schoolchildren via Zoom to cap off Leicester City in the Community’s Football Welcomes Weekend campaign.
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- Sir Michael Morpurgo took part in a 45-minute virtual Q&A with schoolchildren in Leicestershire 
- The author discussed his book, Shadow, which details Aman, a boy fleeing from the Afghan War
- The Q&A featured three Leicestershire Premier League Primary Stars partner schools
- Sir Michael offered his thoughts on the work Leicester City in the Community do with refugees and people seeking asylum

Pupils from Premier League Primary Stars partner schools Krishna Avanti, Sileby Redlands and Seagrave Village Primary tuned in from their classrooms to hear him discussing his book, Shadow.

Shadow is a story about a young boy, Aman, who is fleeing from the Afghan War – making him a refugee. That link, the research into the book and, therefore, his own opinion on the subject made for intriguing viewing from the various classrooms.

“It’s why I am here,” Sir Michael said during the Q&A. “It is wonderful that football is ultimately a game, but it is a game that is extraordinarily popular in our culture.

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Sir Michael Morpurgo
Sir Michael Morpurgo

Sir Michael Morpurgo authored The Fox and the Ghost King in 2016.

“When a football club then stands up for the rights of (refugees and people seeking asylum) and nudges us to treat them properly, we can hold out our hand and welcome them into our society.

“Refugees and people seeking asylum, like us all, are full of talent, so we mustn’t think of them as just refugees or just people seeking asylum, we must think of them as people who need a home. That’s why they are here and they can do wonderful things and we should welcome them.”

Meanwhile, Leicester City in the Community Community Engagement Manager Dan Mitchinson, who organised the event, said: “Raising awareness of the challenges faced by refugees and people seeking asylum is a really important part of our Football Welcomes programme.

It was a really enjoyable session and a fun way of highlighting the refugee and asylum seeker issue with young people.

Dan Mitchinson Community Engagement Manager, Leicester City in the Community

“It was a real privilege to be able to work with an author of Sir Michael’s stature, particularly as he is so knowledgeable and passionate about the topic as evidenced through his story telling.

“It was a really enjoyable session and a fun way of highlighting the refugee and asylum seeker issue with young people.”

Leicester City in the Community is funded by Amnesty UK to work with Leicester refugees and people seeking asylum.

Working closely with Leicester-based charities City of Sanctuary and After18, Leicester City in the Community have been able to connect with a large group of refugees and people seeking asylum to help them adapt to live in the city.

To find out more about Premier League Primary Stars, contact glenn.short@lcfc.co.uk and, for more on Football Welcomes, contact sarah.jones@lcfc.co.uk.

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