Viv Anderson

First Black Player to Represent England & Legendary Footballer for Nottingham Forest, Manchester United and Arsenal

  • The first-ever Black player to represent England
  • Won back-to-back European Cups, the First Division title and two League Cups with Nottingham Forest
  • Played over 500 professional games
  • Voted into Nottingham Forest’s greatest XI by fans
  • Awarded an MBE in 2000 for services to football

Discover Viv Anderson’s biography of published work below.

First Among Unequals
First Among Unequals

A former Nottingham Forest, Manchester United and Arsenal defender, Viv Anderson is well-known for being the first Black football player to represent England. In total, he played 30 times for his country, winning a whole host of trophies along the way. Since retiring in 1995, he has become a popular BAME speaker, offering a fascinating insight into life as a Black player in the 70s and 80s when racism was rampant. Reflecting on the modern-day ‘beautiful game’, he offers criticism of racist fans and reveals their impact on BAME players.

Viv is perhaps best known for his spell with Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest where he won some of the biggest trophies in the domestic game, including one League title and two League Cups. Undoubtedly the team’s biggest success came when they won two historic back-to-back European Cups in 1979 and 1980. The first English team to ever win the competition in consecutive years, Viv was a stalwart in the side and at his speaking events can discuss what it was like playing during these legendary matches.

Born and bred in Nottingham, he went on to play over 300 games for his boyhood club. Having become one of the country’s most influential defenders in 1978 he received a call-up for England. The first Black man to ever play a full international for England, he blazed the trail for many talented BAME English footballers over the years. At events, Viv highlights the power of inclusion and the importance of valuing diversity in sport. Audiences come away with a wider perspective, educated by Viv’s experience of racism on and off the pitch.

Following spells at Manchester United and Arsenal, Viv retired from football in 1995. In 2004, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame and now spends much of his time appearing as a television pundit, running his own sport’s travel agency and working as a goodwill ambassador for the FA. When booked as a BAME speaker Viv can discuss many issues including his own eye-opening experiences with racism and what it means to be the first Black athlete to represent his country.

Official Testimonials

Viv Anderson is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:

“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.”

Kenny, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

“The session was a great success, Viv was an excellent speaker and everyone enjoyed it.”

Cleo, PGIM

To enquire about Viv Anderson for your event or corporate function, simply contact us via or call a booking agent on 0207 1010 553.