Sepp Blatter could learn from young Highbury striker

Under-fire FIFA boss Sepp Blatter could learn a thing or two from one of Islington’s young footballers.

Isledon Wolves under-12s captain Ryan Ward, 11, of Drayton Park, Highbury, has been recognised for standing up to racism, after he stepped in when another player made an abusive comment about his coach.

When the club’s sponsor, housing group Family Mosaic, found out, the striker was handed its Youth Academy Challenger Award.

Ryan’s mum Christina Lockey, 30, said: “He confronted the boy and said that’s not on. There was a group of them but he was the only one who did something and stood up for his coach.

“I was extremely proud, but that sort of thing comes naturally to him. He knows the difference between right and wrong and will say something if he doesn’t agree.”

With racism in football such a hot topic, the youngster, who goes to Holloway School in Hilldrop Road, Holloway, set an example Blatter could do well to follow. The FIFA head was widely criticised recently for saying racist abuse on the pitch could be settled with a handshake.

Jim White, one of the founders of the Isledon Wolves, said: “As a club we are very proud that Ryan made a stand against racism. Racism divides people but Isledon Wolves unites young people, regardless of where they are from, around their love of football.”