2019 Shortlist

John Barnes MBE

  • 1 month ago
  • written by NDA



There has been no finer sight in football than John Barnes in his pomp gliding down the wing. For talent and grace alone, he’s an automatic choice in any hall of fame; but his impact on the game went far beyond goals and silver. The Jamaican-born dribbler was the first high-profile black player to grace Anfield back in the 1980s, a time when racial abuse echoed around stadia across the land. Considered a legend of English football, John was the first black player to win the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year award in 1988. Since hanging up his boots he has carved out a career as an anti-racism campaigner and has spoken out about the problem of racism in the soccer world and British society. He is currently writing a book on race, discrimination and society, and is an Ambassador for Merseyside’s first Youth Zone in Wirral.

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