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Published 29 February 2024 4 min read

England stars recognised in Football Black List

Written by:

Nicholas Veevers

The Football Black List for 2023 has been named with England and the FA well represented

The Football Black List for 2023 was named on Thursday, with both England women’s and men’s national teams represented alongside referees, FA employees and many more.

An initiative shining a light on Black excellence in football, the Football Black List was founded by journalists Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds to celebrate people of African and Caribbean heritage from the Black community for their contributions to the game.

Categories on the list cover those working in all areas of football from coaching and management to the Boardroom, and community and grassroots to the commercial sector. 

A panel of experts drawn from the football industry and the Black community independently vote on nominations made by the public to determine who makes the list. 

The panel included representation from the Premier League, the FA, League Managers Association, Professional Footballers Association, English Football League, PGMOL and Kick It Out.

Three Lions and Liverpool man Trent Alexander-Arnold is on the Football Black List for 2023
Three Lions and Liverpool man Trent Alexander-Arnold is on the Football Black List for 2023
This year, England stars Trent Alexander Arnold, Jess Carter and Nikita Parris feature along with previous Young Lions Liam Rosenior and Marcus Gayle and former Lionesses head coach Hope Powell.

Crucially, the list also helps to shine a light on those working in the community and at grassroots level of the game, who often go uncelebrated.

And the FA’s Keah Forino-Joseph, who works in our equality, diversity and inclusion team, was recognised for her work on a number of initiatives over the last year.

Referees Sam Allison and Akil Howson have also been recognised with Cyrille Regis awards for their achievements of becoming the first Black match officials in the Premier League since Uriah Rennie.

All of those on the list will be invited to attend the Football Black List celebration on 21 March at the Battersea Arts Centre in London.

Those in attendance this year will include current and former players, coaches, managers and senior administrators, plus figures from across sport and entertainment.
The Football Black List 2023 below:


Caz Simone – Huddersfield Town Women

Players - Off The Pitch

Nikita Parris – Manchester United
Jess Carter - Chelsea
Trent Alexander-Arnold - Liverpool
Jeremie Frimpong – Bayer Leverkusen
Lyle Foster - Burnley

Ugo Ehiogu - Ones To Watch

Keah Forino-Joseph - Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, The FA
Josh Booth-Sawyerr – Senior Account Manager, Ten Toes
Olivia Portas – Assistant Producer – BBC Sport
Khadidia Timera – Judge, FIFA Dispute Resolute Chamber
William Bitibri – Founder, Down The Wings


Christina Taylor - Founder, Aim Sky High Talent
Kemi Benjamin – Senior Brand Director, Nike
Roscoe Bowman – Founder, Squad Sports
Ini Umotong – Player Management Executive – Women’s Football Adidas
Kenny Annan-Jonathan – Creative Director, Crystal Palace


Helen Campbell – Multi Camera Director, SCC Media
Miles Addy – Founder, The Content Club
Kevin Ramsey – Director of Studios, Sky
Ade Oladipo – Presenter, DAZN Boxing, talkSPORT
Seb Hutchinson – Commentator, Sky Sports

Coaching and Management

Hope Powell – Technical Director, Birmingham City
Liam Rosenior – Head Coach, Hull City
Vincent Kompany – Manager, Burnley
Nicole Farley – Coach, West Ham
Darren Moore – Manager, Port Vale FC


Ifeanyi Odogwu – Sports Law, Premier League Judicial Panel
Anika Leslie-Walker – Chair, Manchester FA Inclusion Advisory Board
Marcus Gayle – Club Ambassador, Brentford
Fern Whelan - EDI Women’s Football Executive, PFA
Kerry Downes – CEO, Luton Town FC Community Trust


Eartha Pond – Founder, ESP Foundation Charity
Abiola Ijasanmi – Chief Operating Officer, Confederation of African Football,
Tony Burnett – Chief Executive, Kick It Out
Malcolm Kpedekpo – Director, Scottish FA
Matthew Ryder KC – Senior Barrister, Matrix Chambers

Community and Grassroots

Cordell Lake-Benjamin - Targeted Intervention Youth Worker at the Palace for Life Foundation
Andrew Ducille – Operations Manager, BCOMS
Billie Graham - Women and Girls Football Development Co-ordinator, Arsenal in the Community
Richard Taiwo – ESOL Teacher and Coach
Solomon Paul – Groundsman, Highfield Rangers FC

Cyrille Regis Award

Sam Allison – Referee, Premier League
Akil Howson – Assistant Referee, Premier League