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Brendon Batson

Biography

Grenadian Athletes

Date of Birth (DOB): 2/6/53
From: Grenada
Best Known for: Premier Black footballer in England, Part of The Football Trio known as "The Three Degrees"

Bio: Brendon Batson was born in St George, Grenada and became one of the pioneer black football players in England. At West Bromwich Albion he formed part of a trio (Batson, Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis) that became known as the three degrees by fans throughout the country.

Having come over to England from Grenada, at his first school football trial, he had a nightmare. "I had no boots, I used the plimsolls I had for athletics. The teacher saw me at the end of the session and asked me where I came from. I said Grenada, at which point he said, "Maybe your game is cricket." He must have seen the look of disappointment on my face and told me I could come back next week." He did, did well and within a couple of years, Brendon was training at Highbury.

His professional career began at Arsenal, under manager Bertie Mee who taught Brendon and the other professionals to "remember who you are, what you are and what you represent." Competition for places at Arsenal was intense with full backs such as Pat Rice, Sammy Nelson and Bob McNab, Brendon left and headed for Cambridge United.

However it was at West Bromwich Albion that he made his mark on football at a time when black footballers would be subjected to extreme racism from football fans. Along with his team-mates Cyrille Regis and the late Laurie Cunningham, he became a key figure at West Bromwich Albion in the late 1970s and early 1980s as members of the three degrees.

After retiring from football following a terrible injury sustained at Portman Road in October 1982, he swiftly established himself as one of the Proffesional Footballers Association (PFA) senior administrators rising to the position of deputy chief executive at the organization that he helped develop into one of the riches trade unions in the World.

In 2000 he was awarded the MBE for services to football by the Queen of England.

He lives in Greater Manchester with his wife and children.

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