English student gets his John Barnes rap on BT Sport



English student Joseph Robert draws inspiration from Black footballer John Barnes in an appearance on BT Sport this Sunday.

The 19-year-old will perform his spoken word poem about the Liverpool legend as the broadcaster celebrates Black History Month.

"What I like about John Barnes is how he articulates his experiences as a footballer to change people's perceptions today,” says the second-year Literature and Creative Writing student.

“Like the time in 1988 when he back-heeled a banana off the pitch. In that moment, he overcame adversity in the most 'in your face' way.

Role model

“Not only an incredible player but most of all he is a powerful role model who thoroughly believes in education as the ultimate beacon for change.”

Liverpudlian Joseph was chosen after winning the UK's Best Spoken Word Newcomer based on his YouTube videos.

He juggles his studies at LJMU with producing spoken word videos on YouTube and going into schools, providing poetry workshops in the community.

Now he’ll broadcasting his verse to millions, in front of a star-studded audience of sportsmen and women. The show, called Sport in Words, airs on BT Sport 1 this Sunday 2 October at 6pm.

Liverpool voices

The show will also air on BT Sport 2, 3 & 4 at other times during the month. Additionally, they plan to play individual performances before ad breaks to promote the show as well as Black History Month, which means that Joseph's performance will be seen between matches of football and boxing throughout the month of October. 

"To be from Liverpool and not just stand and represent my city, but to speak my city in my accent made me feel tremendously proud,” he said.

Check out Joseph’s work on Instagram: @officialjosephroberts or on YouTube ‘Joseph Roberts’

- English degrees at LJMU have been ranked 12th best in the UK by The Guardian.


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