Viv Anderson

Viv Anderson

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Hire Viv Anderson

Former international footballer and coach, Viv Anderson, was the first ever black player to represent England in the game. A pioneering sportsman who spent his career not only proving his dominance on the field, but breaking race barriers, making history and standing defiant against diversity, Anderson is one of the most iconic footballers the country has ever produced. Having played at the elite levels of the sport, for clubs like Manchester United and Nottingham Forest, Anderson has a vast public platform, and is hugely popular thanks to his down to earth and personable character. A legend of football, Anderson makes the ideal sports speaker or after dinner speaker, armed with captivating, and humorous, anecdotes from the glory days.

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Born and raised in Clifton, Nottingham, Viv Anderson began his professional career as a school boy for Manchester United, before securing a spot in his childhood town at Nottingham Forest in 1974. Under the guidance of the illustrious Brian Clough, Anderson’s early career was impressive, from winning the League Cup in ‘78 and ‘79 to coming first in the European Cup in 1979 and 1980.

Spending a decade with the side saw Anderson rise to prominence for his skill and tact when it came to dealing with racial abuse from rival fans. Taunted with racist chants, Anderson maintained his composure and chose to use his platform to educate and break down barriers amongst ethnicities, a pioneering young player.

Viv Anderson: Hall of Fame

For his impressive performances on the pitch, Viv was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and he remains a committed supporter of the National Football Museum. In recognition for his undeniable influence on the club and football community, Viv was named by fans as Nottingham Forest’s Greatest Ever Player.

National Football Museum

Since retiring in 1995, Anderson has continued to support the wider football community, through his work with the National Football Museum and Football Association, regularly appearing as a speaker and special guest at their events. As a legendary player, Anderson was awarded an MBE in 2000.

First Black England Player

Viv Anderson made history both on and off the pitch. Recognised for his strength in the face of racism. Best known for the moment that made him a champion of the sport and a champion of diversity, Viv Anderson defied racist discrimination to become the first Black player to play for England in 1978 and in turn, gained a place as a sporting icon. More than the 30 caps Viv gained for his country, he gained vital progressive change in sport.

Alongside his prominent international career, Viv also represented a number of clubs, most notably Nottingham Forest and Arsenal. Viv proved himself a skilful defender at every opportunity.

Viv Anderson: Speaker

Since hanging up his boots Viv has continued to be a voice for diversity in sports and his career acts as an inspiration for many facing adversity in any form. As a speaker, Viv educates and motivates his audiences through engaging presentations full of anecdotes from his career.

Since retiring, Viv has remained a key figure in championing equality in sports. As the CEO of Playonpro, Viv has established a platform to connect fans and players and strengthen the community surrounding sports, rather than creating divisions. Able to utilise his experiences of breaking down barriers to encourage active change within corporate environments, Viv is an exceptional keynote speaker on diversity and inclusion having overcome discrimination himself.

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