Black History Month: Proud To Be Albion

Annual campaign takes place during October.

By Charlie Hanson • 01 October 2021

By Linton Rogers
Albion will mark Black History Month by taking a closer look at some of the trailblazers throughout the club's history.

Albion will be marking Black History Month this October by taking a closer look at the people who have broken new ground at the club, in line with the campaign’s focus this year on ‘Proud To Be’.

Since David Busby became Albion’s first black player, there have been a number of trailblazers who have paved the way for others, both with Albion and outside the club.

Throughout October we will be profiling their journey in football.

David Busby – Albion’s first black player, 20th October 1973

By Linton Rogers
David Busby was Albion's first black player, making his debut in October 1973.

At just 17, David Busby became Albion’s first black player when he came on for the final ten minutes of a third division match against Shrewsbury Town. A youth team graduate, Busby had a great relationship with Albion supporters, but he suffered abuse throughout his career including racist slurs and bananas thrown at him, which he spoke to us about last year. He will be giving a talk to players in our academy later on in October about his experiences and how football and its attitude to racism changed during his career.

Chris Ramsey – Albion's first black player to represent the club in a major final, 21st May 1983

By Linton Rogers
Chris Ramsey became the first black player to represent Albion in a major final in the 1983 FA Cup final.

Having come through the ranks in Bristol City’s academy, Chris Ramsey joined Albion in 1980. He played in Albion’s 2-2 FA Cup final draw with Manchester United at Wembley in front of 99,000 but missed the replay because of injury. While the final was a bittersweet experience for Albion, the early rounds were memorable and he played in the fifth-round 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield. The right-back later play for the likes of Swindon Town and Southend United, before going into coaching. He is currently technical director at QPR.

Terry Connor – Albion's first black player of the season award winner, 1986/87

By Linton Rogers
Terry Connor became Albion's first black player to win the Player of the Season award.

Albion landed Terry Connor’s signature in 1983 and the striker was a hit throughout his time on the south coast. Having scored 51 goals in 156 appearances, Connor became Albion’s first black Player of the Season in 1986/87 before leaving later that year for Portsmouth. The 58-year-old has gone onto be an assistant manager to Mick McCarthy with the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Ipswich Town and now Cardiff City.

Chris Hughton – Albion’s first black male manager, 31st December 2014

By Linton Rogers
Chris Hughton was Albion's first black male manager, going onto lead Albion to the Premier League in 2017.

Albion’s promotion from the Championship to the Premier League came under Chris Hughton in 2017, and Hughton went on to oversee two successive years of top-flight football at the Amex. Hughton arrived in  December 2014, steering the club from relegation danger in his first season, before taking the club to within touching distance of the Premier League, only to twice suffer heartbreak in the play-offs. His name was written into the club’s history books following Albion’s promotion, and Hughton left a strong legacy when he departed in May 2019.

Hope Powell – Albion’s first black female manager, 19th July 2017

By Linton Rogers
Hope Powell became Albion women's boss in July 2017, going onto lead the club into the WSL.

England Women’s boss for 15 years, Hope Powell’s arrival at Albion in 2017 was quickly followed by the club’s promotion to the Women’s Super League, and they recorded a club record sixth place last season. Powell has overseen wholesale changes in the women’s team, including moving to a new training facility at Lancing. During her time as England boss, Powell guided her country to the finals of Euro 2009. The 54-year-old was also in charge of the Great Britain Women’s team at the London 2012 Olympics, and is one of the most highly regarded figures in the women’s game.