An event marking Black History Month was held at The Hawthorns, celebrating diversity and opportunity within the local and national football landscape.

Coordinated by the Birmingham FA and The Albion Foundation, the event focused on the success and opportunities for people from BAME backgrounds and coaches working with BAME players or communities.

Guest speakers from both the Birmingham FA and local football community organisations spoke of their experiences and how The FA has provided them with a support mechanism to reach communities in need.

Obayed Hussain, Equality Officer at Birmingham FA and Co-Director of the West Midlands Active Citizens (WMAC), was one of the guest speakers at the event. He said, “Football is a great way of bringing people together regardless of their faith, race or background. I was brought in as Equality Officer for the Birmingham FA to bridge these divides in the community, and to provide a support framework for young people sometimes lacking a sense of belonging and purpose.”

Lincoln Moses MBE, who is co-director at WMAC, was part of the panel at the event, talking about the inspirational work he does in the community and how football can positively affect the local community.

He said, “Football is for everyone, irrespective of colour, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Football has the power to do good in our communities, helping unify and facilitate social change, which is something I am extremely passionate about and have been doing for many years in Birmingham.

“WMAC is an organisation which uses football as an engagement tool to bring communities together and remove barriers for young people. It creates positive opportunities, building skills, self-esteem and status and helps develop role models.”