Last updated : 01 July 2007 By Editor

The People:

"When I became the first black England captain, I got letters from all over the country.

"They were from black parents whose sons were in trouble at school or with the police but decided to start playing football when they saw a black man leading out his country.

"Viv Anderson was a trail-blazer when he became the first black player to represent England, I took it a step further when I became captain, and now I want to set new standards and open a few eyes as a manager.

"It can't be right when there are 91 other clubs but there's not another black manager.

"I've thought long and hard about that situation. I've considered just keeping my mouth shut and getting on with the job, but there comes a time when you have to stand up for what you believe in.

"The fact is, there are more hurdles for black players to overcome if they want to be a manager than for anybody else.

"I'm lucky, I'm working for a progressive club who believe in my abilities. Race and colour didn't come into it, they just wanted somebody who they thought could take the club forward.

"But I'm not sure you can say the same for other clubs. In fact, I know a club where the chairman insisted all the players and staff drove British cars, so I'm not sure what chance a foreign or black face would have stood there.

"I look at the current generation of top players coming to the end of their careers and wonder just how many black players will feel as if they've got a chance of becoming a manager.

"Take somebody like Andy Cole. He's played at the highest level and has so much to offer but there are so many hurdles put in his way, I wonder if he will be bothered to try and overcome them.

"I'm desperate to be successful here, to try and get promotion to the Championship and then possibly the Premiership, just to prove to a lot of people in the game that a black manager can do well and to possibly open a few doors for the next generation."