Omar Beckles has been elected as the new Chair of the Professional Footballers’ Association.
Beckles takes up the position having been chosen by fellow members of the PFA’s Players’ Board. The Players’ Board, made up of elected PFA members from the Premier League, WSL and EFL, is the formal player representation body within the union. The 12-person Board also includes representatives of the thousands of former players who retain access to PFA services and support.
PFA Chair Omar Beckles said:
“I’m honoured to be elected to this role. It’s a real privilege to be chosen to represent the players.
“As Maheta has said, we really want the PFA to be player-centric, with members at the heart of what the union does. I’ll be the link from the dressing room, making sure that the players are at the centre of everything we do.
“I’m looking forward to fighting the members’ corner and building on the great work done by John Mousinho.”
Beckles replaces previous PFA Chair John Mousinho, who was recently appointed as Head Coach of League One club Portsmouth. Mousinho’s transition from a playing role to a managerial position means that he has stepped down from his position on the Players’ Board and as PFA Chair.
Beckles will now work with CEO Maheta Molango and the executive team, ensuring that players views are communicated and represented in the running of the union.
Beckles, who plays for Leyton Orient and Grenada, began his career in Millwall's academy before spending time playing in Spain.
After a period playing non-league football, he signed with Accrington Stanley in 2016. Aged 24, and as a relative late comer, Beckles made his English League Football debut. The popular centre-back has since amassed over 250 appearances with Accrington Stanley, Shrewsbury Town, Crewe Alexandra and Leyton Orient.
Off the pitch, Beckles is a great example to his peers and an advocate for the PFA. He has undertaken his Coaching Qualifications and currently holds a UEFA B License. Following his election to the PFA Players’ Board in 2021, he also enrolled on the PFA’s Effective Board Member Programme.
The 31-year-old has also been a long-term ambassador for promoting positive change in the areas of mental health and wellbeing. He twice won Community Player of the Year while at Shrewsbury and established the HUB 365 Foundation helping young people achieve their potential. In 2022, Beckles was recognised for his Community work at Orient winning the League Two PFA Player in the Community Award at the EFL Awards.
PFA CEO Maheta Molango said:
“The PFA is a union for the players, run by the players. Our Chair, as the leader of the elected Players’ Board, ensures that their views are communicated so that I, and the rest of the union’s staff, are working effectively to deliver on the priorities of our 5,000 members and the needs of our 50,000 former members across the men’s and women’s game.
“This is a time of significant change for the game and for those who play it. The PFA will play an important role in ensuring that we protect players’ rights and conditions, whilst also holding football’s stakeholders firmly to account on issues such as player safety and wellbeing.
“Omar brings a wealth of experience to the role. I’ve already enjoyed working with him as a member of the Players’ Board and I’m looking forward to continuing and building on that relationship.”
Molango also passed on his thanks to former Chair John Mousinho.
“John has worked extremely hard to achieve his coaching qualifications alongside his playing commitments and his hard work on behalf of members as PFA Chair.
“He has been given an excellent opportunity to begin his managerial career with Portsmouth. We thank him and wish him all the very best.”