Britain’s first black manager to be recognised with prestigious award at Football Black List Celebration
Tony Collins, Britain’s first black manager, will be recognised by the football family today as a host of top names from the game – including Premier League footballers, coaches, managers and senior administrators – come together for the Football Black List celebration.
Supported by the Premier League, the evening will celebrate the achievements of individuals of African and Caribbean backgrounds on the Football Black List – an initiative that highlights the successes of an under represented group away from the pitch.
While more than 25% of professional players in the UK are black, there is a worrying lack of representation in decision making positions across all areas away from playing. To help address this and pay tribute to those in influential positions – the Football Black List shines a light on those who are inspiring the next generation to consider other roles in the sport.
At the event all those on the Football Black List, from its inception in 2008, will be celebrated – with a special focus on the most recent 2016 list.
The award categories include media, commercial, administration, community, coaching and management.
There will also be special awards – named in honour of the late Keith Alexander – given to outstanding individuals for their work in football. Tony Collins is one of these recipients in recognition of being the first black manager in the football league, taking Fourth Division Rochdale AFC to the League Cup Final in 1962.
Richard Scudamore, Executive Chairman of the Premier League, said:
“The Premier League is known for being a diverse and cosmopolitan football competition. We and our clubs are working hard to ensure that we are as well known for high levels of diversity off the pitch.
“The Football Black List provides an ideal opportunity to demonstrate our commitment in this area while championing some of the great work and achievements of individuals from BAME communities succeeding at all levels of the game.
“They are the ones that will provide the example and leadership for others to follow and we are pleased to be able to support this celebration.”
Football Black List co-founder Leon Mann commented on the unique event:
“The Football Black List celebration is very special, as it will bring the black community and the football family together to highlight achievement and also look at how we can work towards a more diverse industry.
“It is important to recognise the achievements of members of the community who work across all levels of the game, whilst also exploring and highlighting routes into the industry for the younger, aspiring generation,” continued Mann.
“It will provide a much-needed opportunity to celebrate the contributions of these fantastic individuals.”
Fellow co-founder and sports & features editor for The Voice Newspaper, Rodney Hinds, added:
“The Football Black List is unique in that it recognises the outstanding work of the community that does so much to help the beautiful game prosper.
“The Voice, as we celebrate our 35th year of publishing, is delighted to be a part of what promises to be an exciting night of recognition and networking.”