Late last month Brentford Women’s FC Head Coach Karleigh Osborne ws been named on the Football Black List – an initiative celebrating the most influential Black people in the British game. A League Two title-winner during his playing days at Brentford, Karleigh has been Brentford Women’s Head Coach since 2018. Read the full story and see an interview with Karleigh here.
Karleigh was just one of many EFL representatives have been recognised for their achievements across various areas of the game in this year’s list. The Football Black List, founded in 2008 by sports journalists Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds, highlights positive influencers from the Black community in the sport. A panel of experts from the Black community and football industry vote independently on nominations made by the public to determine who makes the list. The panel included representation from the Premier League, The Football Association, Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers Association, English Football League, PGMOL, FARE, BCOMS and Kick It Out.
Watford’s Troy Deeney has been recognised in the Cyrille Regis Players category for his efforts off the pitch as a driving force of #PlayersTogether which saw Premier League squads donate over £4 million to support and enhance the wellbeing of NHS staff, volunteers and patients who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also helped to create the Black Lives Matter logo that adorned the shirts of all Premier League teams as part of Project Restart. Les Ferdinand MBE, Director of Football at Queens Park Rangers, is also on the list along with Jason Euell of Charlton Athletic.
In a year, where the community efforts of Clubs and their respective Club Community Organisations (CCOs) have been at the forefront of the response to the Coronavirus pandemic, representatives from Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth FC are recognised.
Michael Seeraj, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Charlton Athletic FC and Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) has worked tirelessly to educate both internally within the football Club and Trust but also with the wider football community. He has played an instrumental role in CACT’s equality work, steering the Charlton Athletic Race Equality Partnership Board and the EFL South East Regional EDI Forum.
Duke Harrison-Hunter, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Mental Health at Pompey in the Community changed his own future after being imprisoned, training as a youth worker and supporting numerous young people through their own challenges, empowering them to build a better future. He has played a proactive role in creating awareness of racial equality in sport and is a role model for many within the Portsmouth community.
Joining fellow Hornet Troy Deeney is Watford Club Doctor, Dr. Matt Ogunsanya. Enduring a pivotal year due to the heightened risk of coronavirus, Matt has worked hard to ensure the safest environment possible for players and staff. He currently oversees all of the medical provision for the first-term squad and during lockdown monitored players’ health, making sure they were both physically and mentally well.
Others named in the Football Black List include former EFL player and PFA Executive, Jason Lee who has been a powerful voice working to address issues facing players and National Group Referee, Sam Allison who became the first black referee in English football’s top four divisions since Uriah Rennie’s retirement in 2009.
You can see the full list of winners here