Contributions of black disabled people also being recognised by Premier League-backed initiative, as form to nominate opens…
By Jon Holmes
It’s 12 years since the first Football Black List was published in The Voice newspaper but the awards event continues to push forwards – and it now has a new LGBT+ category too.
Nominations are open for the 2020 celebration of the contributions of the black community to the national game. The FBL is backed by the Premier League, the FA, the PFA and other leading bodies.
Anyone can nominate for the List – individuals put forward just need to have an active role in football, at any level. Categories are Administration; Coaching and Management; Commercial; Community and Grassroots; Media; Ugo Ehiogu’s Ones to Watch (under 30 and excelling); Players – Off the Pitch (Cyrille Regis Award); Practitioners; and LGBT+.
The latter category is a new addition and was suggested by former winner and 2018 awards night host Jessica Creighton of Sky Sports.
There will also be an award to recognise how black disabled people are influencing football and making the sport more accessible for others.
Event co-founder Leon Mann says: “The Black Lives Matter protests have focused minds in the industry. We need to see much more diversity in so many areas of football. This initiative shines a light on Black people leading the way and helps to encourage and inspire.
“We have introduced a new award to highlight and celebrate the contributions to the game from Black LGBT+ people. The Football Black List will also recognise the incredible contribution Black disabled people are making in the sport. We would like to thank the experts who have guided us in these areas and look forward to enhancing our initiative.
“The impact of COVID-19 has meant it’s been an incredibly tough year for everyone in society, and also football. We considered postponing the Football Black List this year as a result, but decided it would be wrong not to highlight Black excellence at a time we have needed it more than ever.”
The 2019 List included several out members of the LGBT+ community including Federation of Gay Games co-president Joanie Evans; the FA’s Jehmeil Lemonius, who was then working for the charity Stonewall; England defender Anita Asante, then with Chelsea and now at Aston Villa, who picked up the prestigious Cyrille Regis Award; and Fulham striker and TV presenter Chelcee Grimes, named on the ‘Ones To Watch’ List.