Brentford FC hosts pitch-side sukkah

Premier League club Brentford FC hosted a pitch-side sukkah during this year’s holiday.

The Sukkah, which was able to accommodate around 20 people, was visited by Jewish and other community leaders at a private event.

Officiating was Radlett Synagogue’s Rabbi Jonathan Hughes, a one-time Reading youth player. Brentford chairman Cliff Crown — a Radlett congregant — was among those attending, along with Rabbi Alex Goldberg, Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust, Chelsea FC communications head Emma Wilkinson and several police representatives.

The interfaith event followed a similar initiative led by the Football Association at Wembley Stadium last year.

Rabbi Hughes, a self-confessed “mad football fan and player”, said the experience had been “fresh and exciting” and complimented the succah builders on their “brilliant” construction.

Such gatherings could “break down barriers between people” and expand their horizons, he added.

Brentford’s head of diversity and inclusion, Kevin Coleman, said the club was now eager to have a succah annually, doing it “a bit bigger and a bit better” every time.

It was trying to tackle racism in football at source “and do really positive things that would mean people wouldn’t want to offend in the first place.

“If you normalise the club by being engaged with different faith communities, then supporters are less likely to shout out abuse that could be offensive to them.”

Brentford FC was promoted to the Premier League for the 2021-22 season for the first time in its history.


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