Brendon Martin Batson, OBE (born 6 February 1953) is a British former footballer. Batson, who played as a defender, featured for clubs Arsenal, Cambridge United & West Bromwich Albion in his footballing career.Born in St. George's, Grenada, Batson moved with his family to Trinidad at the age of 6 and then migrated from the West Indies to England when he was nine years old in 1962. Until then he had never even seen a game of football and a teacher at his school, on watching his early efforts and reflecting on his birthplace opined, "Well, perhaps cricket is your game." However, he was signed as a schoolboy by Arsenal, and whilst at the club's academy won the FA Youth Cup of 1971 Batson signed as a professional at 17 years old at the club and eventually went on to feature for the Gunners' first team, becoming the first black player to do so. In all, he made 10 appearances for Arsenal before moving to Cambridge United in 1974. He spent four years at Cambridge, captaining the side to the Fourth Division Championship under manager Ron Atkinson in 1976-77. At Cambridge Batson made a total of 163 appearances and scored six goals altogether. When Atkinson moved to West Bromwich Albion in 1978, he successfully encouraged Batson to follow him and to team up with fellow black players Cyrille Regis and Laurie Cunningham. He then left Cambridge to transfer to West Brom in a deal worth £28,000 in all. Although not by any means the first black footballers to play professionally in England, the players nicknamed Three Degrees by Atkinson, a reference to contemporary vocal trio of the same name, were pioneering, iconic and extremely popular with West Brom's fans. This trio's fame is to such an extent that in 2012 plans were put forward for a statue of which would honor the footballing trio being purposely displayed in October 2014 at The Hawthorns. With this being said, the aforesaid monument is proposed to be finally unveiled at the commencement of the 2017-18 footballing season. Wikipedia
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