Brighton Hove Albion Academy Trailblazer Spotlight
Big Ideas are highlighting the amazing work Academies are doing to take part in Trailblazers and explore and celebrate the rich diversity of players in British football – past, present and future.Brighton and Hove Albion FC held activity with their young players in the run up to Christmas 2020.
Brighton Hove Albion Academy have been researching inspiring stories from the Club’s heritage for the Trailblazers Project.
Five Academy players presented their findings on Zoom in the build up to Christmas 2020.
There was an amazing turnout across the board with both team managers, and members of the First Teams – men’s and women’s teams – and the COO and Head of HR of the Club all coming onto the zoom to listen to BHA Academy young people present their work.
During the Autumn term, Academy players have been developing their persuasive writing as they researched BHA’s Trailblazers. The Academy presented four compelling to the Trailblazers close to 80 people assembled on zoom:
- Current Women’s Team coach, Hope Powell was not only celebrated by the Academy as one of the Club’s Trailblazers but was on the Zoom in person as she is currently BHA Women’s Team Manger. She was a Trailblazer for all women as the first ever full time coach for England Women’s team #Lionesses. Sebastian said, “She never gave up, even when all hope was lost. She paved the trail for all these young girls to succeed.”
- An under-rated hero of BHA’s the FA Cup final team in 1983, Josh celebrated Chris Ramsey. After his long playing career, Chris moved into coaching and is a Trailblazer because he became England’s first Black male coach for the U20s.
- Arthur Dave Busby was 17 years old when he became BHA’s first Black player on 20 October 1973. He played three times for the Club and has recalled the discrimination he faced in the press, “It was madness; there were players on my own team who refused to pass me the ball.”
- Liam Rosenior who played for England Youth teams, Fulham and Hull as well as BHA. Today he is coach and columnist. Will celebrated his courage in speaking out against racism, including a his powerful open letter to President Donald Trump.
- Justin Fashanu who played for BHA. Justin was a ground-breaker in 1981 he became the country’s most expensive black player and was the first professional footballer to be openly gay.
“It is important people understand who our Trailblazers are,” said Sebastian. “It’s good we get to tell people.” BHA are going to include the Trailblazer profiles in the Club Staff induction so that everyone who works there understands the Club heritage.