Bryan Robson OBE
Former Manchester United and England captain
At West Bromwich Albion I played with the early pioneering black footballers such as Cyrille Regis and Brendon Batson. To me the colour of a person’s skin is irrelevant in football and life. I believe the game of football should be enjoyed by everybody and I'm confident The Zesh Rehman Foundation can continue to spread the message of integration throughout the football world. I am happy to support the work that Zesh and his team are doing to encourage others from all backgrounds and in particular the Asian community to follow in his footsteps in the game. He is a trailblazer of the modern game for these kids to look up to and an excellent role model. Having met Zesh in Thailand his passion to make a difference to kids’ lives was very evident and I'm happy to support the cause.
Ipswich Town striker who has also played for Wigan, West Brom and Watford
I have had the pleasure of working with youngsters through the Zesh Rehman Foundation and am confident Zesh’s stature as a role model can have a positive impact on children and youths from all communities. In my career I have seen how the power of football can unite people from different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. The Foundation aims to educate young people on the importance of integration and valuing diversity which I am happy to support where I can.
Gordon Taylor OBE
Current Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association and former Blackburn Rovers player
Zesh has accepted his responsibility as one of the few Asian professional footballers and is a great role model for many young people from all communities. The Zesh Rehman Foundation provides inspiration for young Asian children to see past barriers so they can achieve their goals. For non-Asian children, the Foundation helps dispel the myths around Asian people in football.
Former England international footballer and one of the few players in England to have swept all possible honours in the English game
I am aware of the challenges faced by young people growing up in areas where opportunities, role models and employment are thin on the ground. We only have to look at the gun and knife crime, gang culture and drug abuse that currently blights young people’s lives. The Zesh Rehman Foundation is all about providing opportunities through personal development, education and training, as well as, encouraging youngsters from all backgrounds to participate in sport and become future role models. Zesh is a pioneer for young British Asians and I believe there will be some great Asian footballers to come through.
Ex Wales international football goalkeeper who was the only goalkeeper to stop a Matthew Le Tissier penalty kick
I first met Zesh when he was a young scholar at Fulham and he has developed into an excellent role model. We definitely need to see more of an increase in Asian players making the breakthrough and I am sure the unique work of the Zesh Rehman Foundation will open up more opportunities for youths from Asian communities to get more involved in football.
Head of Equality, Professional Footballers' Association
The work of Zesh Rehman by establishing the Zesh Rehman Foundation goes way beyond the duty of a professional footballer. The Foundation has already done so much to engage young people into the game and I look forward to working with Zesh and the Foundation for many years to come.
Luis Boa Morte
Portugal International and West Ham player was one of Arsene Wengers first signings at Arsenal
Sport is a great way for people to learn how much they have in common with each other. The Zesh Rehman Foundation promotes community cohesion and develops young people’s aspirations and if children can learn this at a young age it can only be of benefit. Zesh is an exception human being and I am happy to work together with him to help with the development of youngsters, in particular Asians, to become great players as there are not enough in this industry for some reason.
Professional super-middleweight boxer and former British super-middleweight champion
The support of the people around me from a young age has got me where I am today, both in my life in general and boxing. The Zesh Rehman Foundation is providing grassroots programmes for people from a young age and for those who are less fortunate. I’m proud to be named as an ambassador and lend my support to this worthy cause.