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Football's 2016 Black List revealed

THIS NEWSPAPER has an enviable record of recognising those that achieve and set a fine example in our community and the latest edition of Football’s Black List continues that trend.

Football’s Black List celebrates the contribution of the black community across the game. The list focuses not only on those who participate on the field of play but also those who work tirelessly behind the scenes and the champions at grassroots level, often referred to as the lifeblood of the beautiful game. Also gaining recognition for their work are those who work in the media either as journalists, broadcasters and pundits.

There are some new names this year and that is further evidence of the growing influence of our community within the game.

To the esteemed panel myself and Football Black List co-founder Leon Mann give many thanks.


Community and grassroots

Michael Johnson, under-21 coach and an ambassador for former team Derby County
As a SPTT founding member, he speaks regularly at events, such as advocating the Football League’s move towards a version of the Rooney rule at the Houses of Parliament and also internationally at conferences in the USA about athlete activism.

Celia Facey, Arsenal in the Community
Facey has been living on the Elthorne Park Estate for 36 years and her volunteer work has helped the area blossom as a place for young peo- ple to better themselves via sport. A key member of the Arsenal in the Community team, she has supported the Premier League Kicks initiative since 2006.

Helen Nkwocha, grassroots coach
Nkwocha is a football coach who sacrificed her job in pursuit of top-level coaching. The former player has coached hundreds of people nation- wide and is a role model to black females who aspire to become coaches. At- tempting to gain her FIFA A licence, she currently works with Ware under-17s and 19s male sides and Harlow Town’s under-14s.

Donald Forde, Crystal Palace Foundation
As the only black head of a foot- ball club foun- dation, Forde, together with his chairman David Groves, are leading some incred- ible work that is making a big impact in the south of London – it looks to support children’s development, rais- es aspirations among young people, creates pathways into employment and business, promotes health and grows the game

Tobi Alabi, Heart 4 More Foundation
The ex-professional footballer's career came to a premature end when he collapsed on the pitch aged just 19, after his heart stopped. The former Millwall schoolboy went on to set up the Heart4More Foundation in 2014 to raise awareness, inspire others and help enhance people's futures by showing them that that there is a way forward after adversity.

Coaching and management

Dennis Lawrence, first team development coach, Everton FC
The most vis- ible black coach in the Premier League this season. The former Trinidad and Tobago international played under Roberto Martinez at Swansea from 2006, winning the League One title in 2007/08. A trial coaching period at Wigan saw Martinez formal- ly appoint him to his back- room team in 2010 and he joined Everton as first team development coach in 2013. The pair worked together for a third time on Merseyside before Martinez’s dismissal earlier this month.

Darren Moore, professional development phase coach, WBA
The Baggies’ iconic defender is regarded as a future man- ager of the club after an impres- sive start to his coaching career there, where he is working with the develop- ment squad and also the first team. The former Jamaica international is also on the board of the Sports People’s Think Tank.

Chris Hughton, manager, Brighton and Hove Albion
Despite failing to clinch the title, the League Managers’ Association named Hughton as the Championship boss of the year. His side missed out on automatic promotion by goal difference, going unbeaten in 14 games before losing to Sheffield Wednesday in the play-offs. He has signed a new four-year contract with the Seagulls.

Keith Curle, Manager, Carlisle United
Curle took over at Carlisle in September 2014, with the club at the bottom of League Two following their rel- egation, and he led them to safety. The 2015/16 season saw him make good progress developing his side who only just missed out on a place in the play-offs.

Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink, manager, QPR
The Dutch manager did wonders at Burton Albion and made good progress with Championship club QPR in the 2015/16 season, despite losing leading goal-scorer Charlie Austin at the start of the year. He will look to make some astute signings to strengthen his squad this summer.

Players: off the pitch

Alastair Patrick Heselton
Told he may not walk again after a car crash left him in a coma, Heselton has since played in the CPISRA World Championships, 2012 Paralympics and aims for Rio 2016 selection. He is the ambassador for the Durham FA, Every Player Counts campaign and works with the PFA and Premier League educating young players and is a member of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s Give- Back Team.

Eni Aluko, Chelsea and England
A hugely talented woman on and off the pitch – she has a habit of scoring goals for fun and is also a qualified lawyer. Aluko has all the attributes to become a future leader. She has used her voice to speak out on important issues including sexism and racism.

Alex Scott, Arsenal and England
The Arsenal and England defender recently won ITV’s Mission Survive and played a central role in gaining profile for the north London club’s charity work in Iraq. She is a rising star in the media with her own show on London Live! as well
as regular appearances as a Soccer AM and PFA TV presenter.

Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool and England
The Liverpool and England striker has been working with his family to help young people in the UK and Jamaica. The foundation’s goals are simple; to provide youngsters with the opportunity to develop and to have fun doing so. They also look to support vital local community projects.

Yaya Toure, Manchester City and Ivory Coast
Yaya’s stance against racism continues, urging FIFA to crack down on racism prior to the 2018 World Cup. The Ivorian is also an ambassador for FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe). He is also very active in his UN Goodwill Ambassador role against poaching. This season he met with NBA star Luol Deng, discussing bringing African sports stars together to make a bigger impact in charitable activities. The Ivory Coast captain would like to bring the first Premier League game to the African continent through an all-star game.


Samantha Johnson, TRT Sports Correspondent
The former Sun Online presenter is now thriving as a TRT World's Sports Correspondent, covering the biggest football stories to an international audience. She works for the Premier League, hosting International Tournaments and Johnson’s desire to give back has seen her chair, mentor and feature on panels at the Houses of Commons, Wembley Stadium, universities and schools throughout the UK.

Rachel Yankey, BBC Sport pundit and CBBC presenter
The 129-time England winger and 9-time FA Women’s Cup winner is on loan at Notts County from Arsenal and also dedicates a lot of her time off the pitch teaching and encouraging girls in North London to take up football as she continues her quest to raise the profile of the women’s game.

Jermaine Jenas, BBC Sport pundit
A regular on Match of the Day and across all BBC Sport output who has impressed as a pundit and in reporting roles. He is active in the community through his work with the Premier League, recently getting involved with the Kicks Cup in his home city of Nottingham. He also featured in this year’s Great Sport Relief Bake off!

Stephen Lyle, Commissioning Editor, Channel 4
Being appointed Commissioning Editor at Channel 4 last year made Lyle the most senior black decision maker in sports broadcasting. Before joining Channel 4, Stephen was the Series Editor of BBC Match of the Day 2 and Programme Editor on Match of the Day and has won multiple awards for his work.

Poet, Presenter, Copa90
Poet is one of the United Kingdom’s best known YouTubers. As an avid Arsenal fan, he travels up and down the country interviewing the game’s biggest stars and personalities for Copa90, which is the world’s biggest football YouTube channel.


Matt Alexander, Nott County Ladies CEO
The son of the late great Keith Alexander is the only black CEO across all levels of the professional men and women’s game. His former positions include Head of recruitment and Head of U21 development. Alexander spent many years as an FA registered football agent and has been responsible for many high profile transfers.

Dame Heather Rabbatts, FA Board member
The first and only black member of The FA Board, Rabbatts has been working hard to ensure football’s governing body in England embraces diversity. Some may say it’s a case of “mission impossible”, but she is giving it a go!

Lord Herman Ouseley, Kick It Out chair
He has this year spoken out about the need for more women and those of from ethnic minority backgrounds to sit on the FA council. The calls for greater equality in football continues and Lord Ouseley’s voice still remains amongst the loudest and most respected.

Les Ferdinand, QPR director of football
Les continues to organize QPR, after being made football’s very first black director of football. He is equipped with more than enough skills to bring positive change to the West London club.

Michael Emenalo, Chelsea technical director
It is a shame we never hear from the man who sits behind the manager, and plays a key role in making the Champions tick. However, some may say Chelsea’s achievements do the talking for him. Emenalo remains football’s mystery man, but is often seen at community events showing his support.


Marcia Willis-Stewart, lawyer
Willis-Stewart was the lead solicitor for the 76 families represented at the Hillsborough inquest, which was the longest jury proceeding in British history. In its verdict delivered on 26 April 2016 a nine-member jury found that the 96 victims were unlawfully killed on April 15, 1989.

Andy Ansah, Director, Sport on Screen
Andy has over 20 years’ worth of experience and is credited as both creating and revolutionising the Sports Choreography industry. With over 200 productions under his belt, Andy pushes the boundaries of excellence within Sports Media, working with directors to choreograph football scenes, assisting in writing and development of scripts and performs comprehensive sports and football consultancy.

Rayan Wilson, Elite Performance Expert, Back 2 Action
Senior performance consultant and owner of Back2Action, Rayan Wilson took on his first private client in 2003 and today he manages Crystal Palace forward Yannick Bolasie and other clients include Nacer Chadli, Danny Rose, Rolando Aarons and Glen Murray. He has spent his career helping athletes achieve higher levels of performance, specializing in football performance; strength, speed, agility and rehabilitation.

Louis Saha, Axis Stars
Former France striker Saha was recognised with a business award at the Best of Africa Awards last year as founder and CEO of Axis Stars – a network designed to disrupt and change professional sports and entertainment from the elite to aspiring youth. Creating business opportunities for athletes, artists, brands, clubs and agents it provides access to carefully selected financial and legal solutions, offering competitive lifestyle propositions.

Aidy Ward, agent
Ward is arguably the community’s highest profile black agent. He negotiated Raheem Sterling’s move from Liverpool to Manchester City last summer for £50million. The founder of Colossal Sports Management also represents West Ham’s Reece Oxford and Watford’s latest signing Jerome Sinclair.

Ones to watch for in the future...

Mimi Fawaz, media
Fawaz is an expert on African sport, having produced her own very successful African television show, Sports 360.
With a wealth of experience that includes CNN, ESPN and ITV, she has recently started working with BBC World Service, already delivering exclusive interviews with some of the biggest stars on the continent.

Hayley Bennett, community and education
Hayley coordinates the educational programme at the organisation, working with schools, colleges, universities, community groups/ grassroots football organisations, supporter organisations, and fans/fans groups. This process involves educating people on matters of diversity and inclusion, as well as discrimination.
She researches how the organisation can develop an educational programme for all areas of Kick It Out.

Ugo Ehiogu, coaching and management
The former Aston Villa and England defender is building a great reputation for himself as the Spurs under 21’s boss. Expect to see him managing at the top level in the next few years. Ehiogu is also a graduate of the much praised On Board, football corporate governance course.

Terry Angus, administration
Angus joined the PFA as Community Equalities Executive, working with football clubs and community departments ensuring players are represented for social responsibility projects and supports the Senior Player Diversity Programme, encouraging players to speak out against discrimination in the workplace.

Jeanette Kwakye, media
Kwakye has swapped the track for the media tribunes – having made the transition from athlete to sports journalist. A regular at football press conferences for BBC London, expect to see the former GB sprinter rise through the ranks rapidly.

Jason Euell, coaching and management
Euell is the Senior Professional Development Coach at Charlton Athletic, working with the Under-18 and Under-21 squads. Highly regarded by many in the game, it is only a matter of time before the former Wimbledon forward is managing at the top level.

Gavin Rose, coaching and management
As Dulwich Hamlet’s longest serving manager, his success draws attention from football league clubs thought to be monitoring his progress. He guided Hamlet to the Ryman South title in 2012/13, also reaching two League Cup finals, the Premier Division play-offs last season and winning awards for excellent disciplinary records. Rose has won eight Manager of the Months in three years and also helps run the Aspire Academy which specialises in coaching and youth development.

Carlton Fairweather, coaching and management
The former professional footballer manages FA WSL club Sunderland Ladies. He initially returned to Wimbledon managing the Under-17 and 18s before he was promoted to reserve team manager. He held the same role at Crystal Palace and then assumed a community coach role with Sunderland A.F.C. working at Sunderland High School. He has also coached as part of the US Olympic Development Programme.

Christina Oshodi, community and grassroots
Christina used to play for Tottenham ladies and now works as a FA County Coach Developer (Middlesex). She is an advocate for women’s sport and is one of the few positive black female role models in football. A regular speaker at Black and Asian Coaching Association (BACA) events.

Kadeem Simmonds, media
The first and only black sports editor of a national daily newspaper across the entirety of sports media. A talented writer and man known for giving opportunities to young emerging talent. The Voice’s Rodney Hinds is the only other black sports editor in the industry.

The judging panel

Jason Roberts MBE, Sports People's Think Tank
Piara Powar, FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe)
Alastair Bennett, Premier League
Troy Townsend, Kick It Out
Jessica Creighton, BBC Sport presenter
Jason Lee, Professional Footballers Association
Michelle Moore, Sports consultant
Lincoln Moses MBE, Continental Star FC


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