Former professional footballer, Viv Anderson made history both on and off the pitch. Recognised for his strength in the face of racism, Viv become the first Black player to represent England, and in turn, gained a place as a sporting icon. 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.
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. 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. Winning the League Cup on three occasions between the two clubs, Viv proved himself a skilful defender at every opportunity.
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.
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.
“Viv was outstanding! He had broad appeal in our firm due to his footballing and ethnic background and people were really commending us for bringing him in. He was very entertaining and everyone loved his war stories and his opinions on diversity in the management of football.”