Brendon Batson OBE, PFA Charity Trustee
Brendon Batson OBE, PFA Trustee.
Brendon is a special adviser to the Football Association and Trustee of the Professional Footballers’ Association.
Born in Grenada, he moved to England with his family aged nine. After an unlikely start (having never kicked a ball before his move from the Caribbean), Brendon went on to became a pioneer for black footballers in England.
As a schoolboy he was signed by Arsenal, and went on to be the first black player to play for the Gunners' first team. After a further 10 appearances for Arsenal he joined Cambridge United in 1974, captaining the side to the Fourth Division Championship under manager Ron Atkinson.
In 1978 he followed Ron Atkinson to West Bromwich Albion, where along with his team-mates Cyrille Regis and the late Laurie Cunningham, he became a key figure as a members of ‘The Three Degrees’ (nicknamed after the vocal trio of the same name). Their success played an integral part in the development and improved conditions for black players within the English leagues.
Brendon was forced to retire in 1982, following a serious injury and joined the PFA as senior administrator, rising to the position of Deputy Chief Executive.
He was awarded an OBE in 2014 in recognition of achievements and services to football.