Manchester’s first openly-gay former Mayor, avid campaigner and community activist, and current LGBTQ+ advisor Carl-Austin Behan was among those honoured at Windsor Castle yesterday.
While all eyes and headlines were on one Mancunian – 24-year-old Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford, who was finally presented with his MBE yesterday in recognition for his highly-publicised work to tackle child food poverty in the UK – another prominent and important Greater Manchester figure was also recognised at the long-awaited ceremony at Windsor Castle yesterday.
Carl-Austin was presented with an OBE by Prince William The Duke of Cambridge for his ongoing services to the Greater Manchester community.
Following the ceremony yesterday, Kensington Royal took to social media to share Carl-Austin’s achievements that have led to him being awarded the prestigious honour, explaining that: “Every year, inspiring people from across the UK are recognised for their outstanding achievements [and] one person who received his OBE today was Carl-Austin Behan, recognising his incredible work for charity and the LGBTQ+ community in Greater Manchester, where he has helped raise money for numerous worthy causes and spearheaded work promoting equality and inclusion in the public and private sectors.
“He has played an active role in his community, including through his 14 years in the Boys’ Brigade as a youngster, voluntary roles in later life include supporting the Northern Air Hospital Radio and Gaydio, an LGBT radio station.
“He’s completed two charity treks in Malawi, raising over 100,000 for children with HIV, and a trek to Everest Base Camp in 2013 raised £25,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society, a charity he regularly supports.”
Carl-Austin also took to social media to share pictures from the day.
“Feeling proud, honoured and humbled to spend a morning at Windsor Castle to receive my OBE along with many other deserving recipients, which was the first one since before COVID restrictions,” he said in a post on Twitter and Instagram.
He also later thanked “all those who made this happen, who supported, believed, and trusted in me, over many years”, adding that it was “very much a team effort.”
“Especially my family, friends, and loved ones, who have all been part of this amazing journey,” he concluded.
Carl-Austin Behan was born in north Manchester and grew up in Crumpsall.
He joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1991 when he was 19 years old, and had a busy career that included saving a fellow pilot from a burning aircraft, which subsequently saw him commended for his actions in the Queen’s Honours list of 1991 – but was discharged in 1997 for being gay at a time when it was illegal to be openly gay in the RAF.
After leaving the RAF, he began a career in politics, and was elected to Manchester City Council as Labour Member for Burnage ward in May 2011, and then in 2016-2017, was made Lord Mayor of Manchester – becoming the city’s first openly-gay Lord Mayor and one of its youngest at 44.
He also took voluntary roles in later life that include supporting the Northern Air Hospital Radio, and LGBT radio station Gaydio, as well as continuing to work in promoting equality and inclusion in the public and private sectors, and has raised significant sums of money for charities important to him.
Mr Behan is now currently the deputy lord lieutenant of Greater Manchester, trustee of the LGBT+ veterans’ charity Fighting With Pride, president of the CONTACT theatre in Manchester, and acts as the LGBTQ+ advisor to Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.
He deservedly made headlines earlier in February this year when he was finally able to reclaim the military medals taken from him after he was dismissed from the RAF.
The MoD said at the time that it wanted to address a “historical wrong”.
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.