Baroness Howells of St David: Foundation Patron
Baroness Howells of St David, OBE was the first black woman to sit on the GLC's Training Board; the first female member of the Court of Governors of the University of Greenwich and was the Vice Chair at the London Voluntary Services Council.
Baroness Rosalind Patricia-Anne Howells was born in 1931 and was raised to the peerage as Baroness Howells of St David, of Charlton in the London Borough of Greenwich in 1999.
She was educated at St Joseph's Convent in Grenada, South West London College and City College in Washington DC. In 1955, she married John Charles Howells and they have two daughters.
Her career background includes being the Director of the Greenwich Racial Equality Council as well as a Community and Equal Opportunities Worker. Baroness Howells is a trustee of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, and served as the unofficial advisor to the Lawrence family.
She has worked with the London Voluntary Services Council, Carnival Liaison Committee, and the Greater London Action in Race Equality and has been an active campaigner for justice in the field of race relations.
Jason Roberts MBE: Chair
Jason Roberts was born 25 January 1978 in Park Royal West London.
Jason comes from a long line of professional footballers. His Uncles Cyrille and Dave Regis as well as his other Uncle Otis Roberts were all professional footballers.
Jason started out as a trainee at Chelsea under the guidance of Graham Rix. After leaving Chelsea Jason joined Hayes where his Uncle Cyrille and Les Ferdinand had begun their professional careers.
West Bromwich Albion signed Jason for a club record fee of £2 million during the 2000 close season. His direct approach, aggressive style and goal-awareness, allied to hard work, good ball control and spirited endeavour has made him a handful for any defender. (Jason always gives 100 per cent effort and has scored some fine goals.)
Jason had his transfer request granted by the West Bromwich Albion in July 2003. Jason went out on loan to Portsmouth FC for the 2003-04 season but secured a move to Wigan Athletic in January 2004 with a contract to June 2007.
During Jason’s spell with Wigan Athletic, he scored a total of 103 goals and helped Wigan to a top 10 Premiership finish and a place in the Carling Cup final in 2005 / 06 season. Jason also had the honour of wearing the Wigan Athletics’ captain’s armband on a number of occasions.
Having achieved what he wanted at Wigan, Jason felt the time was right to move on and joined Blackburn Rovers in July 2006 on a 4 four-year contract. Jason suffered a number of injuries through the 2006/07 season, however he repaid his Manager Mark Hughes faith in him when he opened his goal scoring account with Blackburn at the semi final of the FA Cup against Chelsea. His 64th minute equaliser breathed new life into Blackburn Rovers. This was Jason’s first domestic start since October 2006.
Jason is proud to have represented Grenada in international football and is one of two full time professional players in the squad. Jason represented Grenada in the 2002 World Cup Qualifiers.
Otis Roberts : Chief Executive
Otis Roberts was born in London in 1968, to Grenadian parents and is the youngest of 6 children. Otis joined the Fulham’s Youth Team where he spent his trainee years under the stewardship of Alan Taylor.
At 19 Otis won a scholarship to Essex College in Baltimore where he undertook a sports science course. Following the successful completion of his course Otis returned to England where for a short period he played for Crystal Palace.
Otis moved to Belgium where he played for 3 seasons as a professional player. It was in Antwerp where Otis first got the bug for developing community-based programmes and where he established and delivered his first soccer school.
In 1994 Otis moved to the Far East where he played for a number of Hong Kong Clubs and for a short period in Malaysia. It was while in the Far East that Otis was first capped for Grenada. His successful international career resulted in a total of 35 caps for Grenada.
Otis returned to London, after a short spell with Norwich, Otis joined non-league club Hendon and Harrow Borough FC, where he also gained his coaching licence and pioneered a Football in the Community Scheme. He was subsequently headhunted by Fulham FC where he spent some time developing and delivering schemes in both Fulham and Lambeth.
It was while at Fulham that Otis came to the attention of Proactive the Manchester based sports agency. Otis spent 6 years as part of the Proactive Football division where he played a critical role in player representation. With his depth of knowledge he led on the development of the company’s London market.
In his new role as CEO of the Jason Roberts Foundation, Otis has undertaken a new direction while maximising and building on his experience and knowledge gained across a number of years and continents.
While in his new role Otis will continue to mentor and coach up and coming new players
Cyrille Regis is well renowned as a legend in the football world. Beginning his career in 1977, Cyrille became one of the leading strikers in English football in the early 1980’s. He made his name as a powerful, quick striker with First Division West Bromwich Albion.
In 1979, Cyrille was voted PFA Young Player of the Year and the Midlands Player of the Year in 1978 and 1982. Cyrille built a successful 19 year career in English football, winning five full caps for England, three B caps and six Under 21 caps. Cyrille had many highlights in his career and was a scorer of spectacular goals. A move to Coventry City in 1984 proved him as one of England’s premier players when in 1987 Coventry won the FA Cup over Tottenham Hotspur.
As one of the few Black players in his early career, Cyrille became a pioneer and role model for many other young hopefuls from all backgrounds. His resilience, determination and drive on the pitch were admirable as he scored goal after goal.
Cyrille retired from professional football in the summer of 1996. Now a licensed FA Coach, he returned to West Bromwich as reserve team coach. In 1999, he moved to the agency world becoming a fully licensed FIFA Agent. He now works for the Stellar Group, looking after many premiership and league players, imparting his many years of wisdom and experience.
Cyrille was also recently awarded an MBE in the 2008 summer honours list.
John is a solicitor specialising in sports and charity matters. He advises the Premier League and Football League Trust on community projects and has advised over 90 professional sports clubs in football, rugby, cricket, basketball and ice hockey on charity matters. He also acts for several professional footballers, rugby players and boxers.
As well as being a trustee for The Jason Roberts Foundation, he is a trustee of Chelsea FC Foundation, QPR in the Community Trust, Newcastle Falcons Community Foundation and The Great North Air Ambulance Service.
He is a Newcastle United fan and sits in the Gallowgate end at St James's Park.
Rodney Hinds is currently the Sports & Features Editor of The Voice Newspaper – he believes sports brings cohesion, pride and hope to millions of people worldwide.
In 1999 Rodney was co-author of ‘Black Pearls - an A-Z of Black Footballers in the English Game’. In recent times Rodney has penned his second book ‘Black Lions – The Story of Black Footballers in England.’ His third book ‘Usain Bolt – In the Fast Lane’ will be published during 2010.
His contribution to sports journalism was recognised when he won the Black Plus+ ‘Best Print Journalist’ and Victoria Mutual ‘Services to Cricket’ awards.
Having launched his television career on BBC Breakfast Time, Rodney has also contributed and appeared on various sporting documentaries - ‘Black Flash – A Century of Black footballers in Britain’ (BBC3), ‘Daley Thompson’ (BBC2) and ‘Mike Tyson’ (C4)). He has appeared on Sky Sports and Soccer Sunday (ITV), was the sports pundit for CBBC TV Xchange children's programme and frequently acts as sports analyst for BBC TV and radio including regular stints on Radio Five Live, Talksport, BBC 1Xtra, BBC London 94.9, FM Choice FM and Radio Leicester, BBC Birmingham and BBC Three Counties Radio in Luton.
David Regis was born in Paddington, London. He began his playing career in non-league football with Dunstable Town whilst training as an apprentice with British Gas. He also played for Fisher Athletic, Windsor & Eton and Barnet.
Originally part of Barnet’s promotion side to the Football League under the colourful management of Barry Fry. Barnet sold him to Notts County, where he began his professional career at the age of 26, scoring in the play-off final at Wembley to secure promotion to the top flight in his first season.
He went on to sign for Plymouth Argyle for a record fee, Stoke City, Birmingham City, Southend United, Barnsley and Scunthorpe. He also had loan spells at Bournemouth, Peterborough United, Leyton Orient, Sligo and Lincoln City. His career was ended at the age of 34 due to a serious knee injury whilst playing for Scunthorpe United.
Since retiring in 1998, David has run his own fitness company, a coach at Notts County’s Centre of Excellence and Nottingham Forest Academy, taught at a Further Education College and a director of Sports-Ed.
David is a qualified football coach, has a degree in education and is working towards a master’s degree in Sports Business Management. He is currently Head of Education & Welfare at Charlton Athletic Academy.
Colette is currently the managing director of a management consultancy specialising in reimbursement and market access for medical devices and diagnostics in the EU. She was formerly a UK public sector advisor with PricewaterhouseCoopers as well as UK Commercial Director for a medical device company in the Johnson and Johnson Medical group.
She has a background in hospital and community health management, a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in Psychology. During her time in the public sector Colette successfully engaged in a number of social regeneration and joint-agency service design schemes. She also project managed and generated match funding for the first ever Bobby Moore One Stop Cancer Unit.