Looking back on former team photos of Leicester you have a special from the 1972/73 season also appearing are reserves, and in that picture you will recognize one single black coloured player, his name is Brendon Phillips. He never appeared for Leicester in league action and then overlooked as the first coloured player, but still played reserve team games and was included in the squad photo.
Born in Jamaica on the 16th July 1954, and just a teenager while at Leicester, but what did happen to the mystery man? Despite leaving Leicester before making a single first team appearance, his career turned out a thrill in itself, appearing for England. A very interesting career indeed as he became well known and a famous face in non-league action and management
After leaving Leicester he moved to Peterborough and played one single league game for The Posh before life was switched to non-league football. From 1974 to 1979 he moved a bit around to play for Burton Albion, Nuneaton Borough, Kettering Town and Boston United. Mansfield Town brought him back to football league action when signing Phillips in 1980. He spent a year with The Stags and played 17 league games before again jumping back to non-league action.
A real nomad in football as his travels continued around having 2nd and 3rd spells with Nuneaton Borough, a return to Boston United, two spells with Scarborough, also representing Shepshead Charterhouse, Corby Town, Aylesbury United, Atherstone United, Bedworth United and ending his playing career in 1997 with a his last spell appearing for Stafford Rangers.
Brendon Phillips also appeared four times England C, in games vs. Scotland and Holland. England C is the non-league set up of the national team appearing against other nations in friendlies and special competitions. Steve Guppy and Lee Tomlin are two other former foxes to have appeared at England C level.
BP was a clever midfielder that in some way did not make the grade at a higher level but triggered transfer fees as he was signed by all of his different clubs. The story also gives a view on him turning down a short term move to Brighton & Hove Albion.
In one of his latter spells playing he also entered the life as manager, being in both roles at Bedworth United and Stafford Rangers. He then moved on to become manager at Nuneaton Borough, getting the club promoted. He was voted manager of the year and following Martin O’Neill in that category. “Boro” ended 15th in their 1999-00 return season, their first back at the top level of non-league action in twelve years. But a bad start to their next season did see BP losing his positon.
He later had spells as manager with Halesowen Town and Coalville Town, being in the non-league management trade for 15 years. He is seen as a legend in this environment and a pioneer as both manager and player among English black coloured.
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