QPR’S Chris Ramsey and Manisha Tailor were named joint winners of the Kick It Out & Sky Inclusion Champion Award at Tuesday’s 2022 League Managers' Association (LMA) awards.
The duo fended off competition from England manager Gareth Southgate and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. Brighton Women's manager Hope Powell and Leatherhead FC player and LGBTQ+ role model Luke Tuffs were also in the running for the award, which recognises individuals who have used their position of leadership to combat discrimination and promote inclusion.
Manisha is QPR’s current assistant head of coaching and is the first woman and person of South Asian heritage to hold such a role in English football. She has also been instrumental in improving representation of South Asians on the pitch, with our academy boasting 10 players of South Asian heritage – more than any other club in the country.
Her skill, resilience and stature are an inspiration, and her success is an example of the kind of change that can be achieved in the sport.
Manisha has been mentored and guided by Chris Ramsey (head of coaching) in recent years as the pair continue to enforce a playing philosophy within the club’s academy. Chris is a fantastic role model for black coaches in his own right, but also a tireless proponent of diversity and opportunity for aspiring coaches from underrepresented groups.
Ramsey saw huge coaching potential in Manisha and gave her a platform to excel, just as he has with many others.
During their time at QPR, both Chris and Manisha have been awarded an MBE for their services to football and diversity in sport.
For this latest accolade, the LMA commented that they were presented with the award for ‘changing the face of academy coaching in football for groups that are underrepresented in many aspects of football’ – and were ‘worthy recipients of the LMA and Kick It Out’s recognition’ as a result.
“This award epitomises what can be achieved within an inclusive club culture and mentoring,” said Manisha. “Diversity and understanding of individual differences is key to any high performance environment and I am fortunate to be surrounded by those who are truly committed to ensuring that you will be treated on merit and in the same manner as anybody else.”
Chris added: “It is important to have diverse thinking within your leadership and we are fortunate to have a board, a CEO in Lee Hoos, a director of football in Les Ferdinand and an academy director in Alex Carroll who actively promote diversity throughout the club while ensuring that it is not tokenistic.”
Tony Burnett, Kick It Out CEO, said: “For this award, we wanted to identify people who shared our mission at Kick It Out, of helping to drive positive and inclusive change in football.
“Together, Manisha and Chris have not only led the way in identifying diverse talent but have also shown determination to succeed in providing opportunities for underrepresented groups in football. We’d like to thank them both for their hard work.”
Congratulations, Chris and Manisha! We are proud of your achievements in promoting positive change and also proud of the inclusive football club we continue to be.
The full list of LMA Annual Awards Winners 2021/22 is as follows:
The Sir Alex Ferguson trophy for the LMA Manager of the Year: Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Premier League Manager of the Year sponsored by Barclays: Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Barclays FA Women's Super League Manager of the Year: Emma Hayes OBE (Chelsea)
The FA Women's Championship Manager of the Year: Matt Beard (Liverpool)
Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Year: Marco Silva (Fulham)
Sky Bet League One Manager of the Year: Leam Richardson (Wigan Athletic)
Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Year: Matt Taylor (Exeter City)
LMA Special Recognition Award: Dr Sally Harris (HCA Healthcare UK)
LMA Service to Football Award: Kath Phipps (Manchester United)
Kick It Out & Sky Inclusion Champion Award: Chris Ramsey MBE & Manisha Tailor MBE (QPR)
We are fortunate to have a board who actively promote diversity throughout the club while ensuring that it is not tokenistic.