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5th Jun, 2024

Troy Townsend MBE to Leave Kick It Out

We are sad to announce that Head of Player Engagement Troy Townsend MBE will leave Kick it Out at the end of June after almost 13 years at the anti-discrimination charity.

Regarded by many as Mr Kick It Out, Troy joined the organisation in 2011 and departs after being awarded an MBE in December for his huge role in making football a more diverse and inclusive place. We will miss him dearly.  

It has been an incredible and celebrated journey for a man who joined the organisation as a volunteer, but quickly impressed colleagues with his dedication and commitment to the campaign, which has lasted ever since.

His passion for calling out injustice and holding authorities to account has never wavered, and the way he has listened to and supported players and parents from grassroots through to the professional game means he is one of the most trusted and distinctive voices in the game.

Helping young people learn and develop is another huge passion for Troy. He has delivered workshops to thousands of Academy players through our Equality Inspires programme for the Premier League and the League Football Education’s Life Skills programme. Since 2012, he has also led Kick It Out’s pioneering Raise Your Game programme to help young people from diverse backgrounds take their first steps in the football industry.

Troy’s pride in helping the next generation was evident at last Saturday’s Champions League final at Wembley where he supported three young referee mascots who walked onto the pitch as part of Kick It Out’s partnership with the Uefa Foundation For Children and FedEx.

Very few in football can speak of such an impressive legacy that will resonate for years to come.

After giving so much to football and after being on the front line for so long, he now feels it’s time for a change in direction. Troy will leave at the end of June, but we are glad he will continue to support Kick It Out’s Equality Inspires programme on a consultancy basis.

“It’s been an incredible journey for someone who walked in the door as a volunteer, hoping to prove I was worth a full-time role. I am unbelievably grateful they saw that in me,” he said.

“The work continues at a relentless pace, and after serving my time, it feels like the right moment for a change and to perhaps look after myself a little bit better.

“I cannot deny that the many ups and downs over 13 years have taken their toll at times, but I’m very grateful for the influence I’ve had and how I’ve managed to empower many in this space, particularly the players.” 

Tony Burnett, Kick It Out CEO, said: “Troy’s impact on the football landscape cannot be overstated. His tireless commitment to calling out discrimination means he leaves Kick it Out with the respect and admiration of those throughout the game.

“Football is indebted to Troy for his courage and tenacity in tackling some of the game’s biggest challenges and we thank him wholeheartedly for his unwavering commitment.  

“Kick It Out wish Troy all the success and happiness for the future and will look forward to continuing to work with him on a consultancy basis.”