Ces Podd Arrived in Britain from the Caribbean when he was just nine years old. When he was 16 years old he had managed to get himself into a Leeds pub team, as well as playing for the church,school and his local youth club.
Ces had the idea that the more games he played the better his chances of being spotted by a talent scout. His first trial was with Wolverhampton Wanderers, but he didn’t even get to play. Disillusioned He set off for Art College in Bradford. The father of a friend, who he met there, suggested that he might get a trial for Bradford City. He went for the trial and impressed the manager enough to be asked to start training with the team. He made his debut in 1971 against Chesterfield, and won the ‘Man of the Match’ from one Newspaper. However, Ces was not ready for the amount of racial abuse that he received of fans. Name calling spitting and having Banana’s thrown at him were part of his experience.
In 1980 he was the first black footballer ever to be granted a testimonial by the F.A (Football Association).
His Testimonial attracted a then record attendance, and after writing to a number of managers in the league he put together an all black team for the match.
The team included Garth Crooks (Spurs), Luther Blisset t(Watford), Alex Williams (Man City),Vince Hilaire (Luton), Terry Connor (Leeds) and Mark Chamberlain (Stoke).
Today Ces is a coach with St.Kitts and Nevis. Although he’s back in the Caribbean black British players owe him a debt, because he and his team mates helped to break down stereotypes that black players could not compete at the top level.
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