SGSA Board Member Honoured for Services to Football

Brendon Batson OBE

Brendon Batson, SGSA’s longest serving Board member, has been awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to football.

Brendon started his football career as a young player at Arsenal, where he was guided though to his professional career, signing onto the ranks at age 16. His career took him to Cambridge United and then on to West Bromwich Albion where he played for four seasons until injury sadly ended his career.

Shortly after his retirement from the game in 1984, he was invited to join the team at the Professional Footballers Association (PFA). He soon became Deputy Chief Executive and spent an enjoyable 18 years working for and on behalf of players across the leagues; he remains a trustee of the organisation.

Brendon was instrumental in the launch of the Kick it Out campaign in 1993 and has been a staunch supporter of the Show Racism the Red Card campaign where he is a patron. He is passionate about increasing the number of Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) coaches in the sport and manages the COACH Bursary Programme on behalf of the whole game to support young male and female BAME aspiring coaches.

Brendon joined the Board of the Football Licensing Agency (FLA) in 2007. He has seen the organisation evolve from the FLA to the SGSA and was involved in securing the long-term future of the organisation in October 2014, when the Government announced it was to be retained as an independent body. 

Brendon believes supporters have the right to enjoy going to a stadium without fearing for their safety. He says “We now take it for granted that stadiums are a safe place to go. History has shown us it wasn’t always the case. Being on the Board of the SGSA has allowed me to support and guide the work the team do to ensure safety and enjoyment for all spectators.”

SGSA Chair, Paul Darling QC says “Brendon is an asset to the Board, his knowledge and understanding of football and its governance is second to none. I would like to extend my congratulations to him for this appropriate honour in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the sport.”