Heskey during the #RaceTo1000 event at DMU’s Campus Centre

Emile Heskey is best known for his professional football career, playing as a striker for Leicester City, Aston Villa, Liverpool, Newcastle Jets and making 62 appearances for England.

Heskey has gained cult status amongst football fans for his famed goal scoring aptitude. The football star was born in Leicester and spent six years playing for Leicester City after progressing through the team’s youth system, making his first team debut at the age of 17.

We spoke to Emile at the #RaceTo1000 stem cell event at De Montfort University’s Campus Centre about the Rik Basra campaign and Leicester City.

How did you get involved with the Rik Basra campaign?

I went to a function in Nottingham with a friend of mine who helped Rik. Hearing Rik’s speech there which blew me away, when he was talking about his experience I couldn’t help but be touched. After that I spoke to Rik and discussed coming down to Leicester to help, so that’s why I came down.

Do you hope to raise the profile of the Rik Basra campaign by your presence?

I hope so, you never know, being a Leicester lad I hope to do so. It’s very important for Rik himself to have me down, and for ethnic minorities to sign up.

Do you think we’ll reach 1000?

I hope so, we’ve high hopes.

Have you been following Leicester City in the Premier League?

Yes definitely. It’s one of the first two I would say results that I look at. It’s been great.

Leicester have had a good start, obviously I was a little worried at first about them having a good start and not picking up the points but they’ve actually picked up quite a few points. Defensively they have been great and they have got Vardy up front

What are your hopes for them this season?

I think they’ll stay up and then build up on that. We can’t really think of anything too far ahead. I think staying up is the main focus. Adding one or two players where needed structurally and taking that progression one step at a time. You don’t want to jump too far. The owners talked about going for the top five or top four but I think you have got to take one step at a time, season by season.