BAME celebration

The Hawthorns played host to a showcase event as the FA and Albion recognised Black History Month.

Held to celebrate the success stories of local black, Asian and minority ethnic background coaches and players, the presentation recognised their journeys of how they got to where they are in football today.

Albion's Loan Manager and Under-23s Assistant Manager, Deon Burton was on hand to pass on his coaching knowledge and story.

"It was really good, I really enjoyed it," said Deon.

"It's just about continuing to raise the awareness of BAME coaching and keep pushing."

With the Club's rich history in breaking down barriers, Deon was happy to see the event at the home of Albion.

"Holding an event like this at The Hawthorns is great - it makes sense that something like this should be held here during Black History Month," he said.

Dave Lawrence, Head of Sport for The Albion Foundation, expressed the importance of having a variety of coaches from differing ethnic backgrounds available to youngsters.

"I think people, no matter what walk of life they're from, need to have a role model," he said.

"You need to have benchmarks. It's the same for all coaches, you need to have people you identify to."

Being chosen by the FA to hold an event of such significance shows the strong link between the Foundation and Football Association, insisted Dave.

"This is a showcase of the partnership that we've got with the county and national FA," he said.

"It's something that we've worked on during the last 12 months, we've got great relationships with them."

Dave's words were echoed by Luke Bowles, Senior Football Development Officer for the Birmingham County FA.

"We work closely with The Albion Foundation, they do fantastic work within the community," said Luke.

"They show that professional football clubs in the local area can be a community pillar.

"The Foundation can bring a lot of stability to the local community and a lot of opportunities for young people within there."