THE FOOTBALL Black List (FBL) made an highly anticipated return with a special celebration evening at the Battersea Arts Centre with Premier League and African football legend Yaya Toure being awarded the Keith Alexander award – for Black excellence in the game.
The event, proudly supported by the Premier League, is an initiative shining a light on the most influential Black people in British football, founded by Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds.
Returning as an in-person celebration evening for the first time since 2019, it was hosted by Sky Sports presenter and reporter Jaydee Dyer and ESPN broadcaster Alexis Nunes, with a performance from legendary Reggae artist Janet Kay to open proceedings.
Premier League stars Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford were among the names on the Football Black List.
Deji Davies, Non-Executive Director at Brentford FC, the only Black board member at a Premier League club, Les Ferdinand, the only Black Director of Football in the game, and FA Board member, Jobi McAnuff, also made the list.
Three-time Premier League winner Toure was honoured with a Keith Alexander award for outstanding contributions to the game and the black community, while Hartlepool United winger, Brendan Kiernan was awarded the Cyrille Regis award for his impactful community work.
The Football Black List featured LGBTQ+ Awards for the third time recognising work by Black individuals and allies, in challenging homophobia in society through football. The winners this year were former Lioness Lianne Sanderson and Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s Head of ED&I, Dr. Michael Seeraj.
Attendees on the night included former Premier League title winning captain Wes Morgan, Anton Ferdinand, Hope Powell, Mark Bright and Eniola Aluko, with a host of figures from the sports industry joining the event to show their support.
The Football Black List, first published in 2008, highlights Black industry professionals who are positive influencers working across all areas of the game, amplifying their incredible work and also helping to inspire the next generation to follow in their footsteps.
Leyton Orient Women’s Charlotte Lynch, picked up her award in a players category that included Premier League stars Saka, Sterling, Rashford and Jamaican international Andre Gray.
The next generation of Black excellence was highlighted through the Ugo Ehiogu Ones to Watch awards, which were presented by Ugo’s family and Tottenham Academy coach, Toure on stage.