Tag Archive | "Soccer"

Jack Leslie

Jack F. Leslie was a former black football player in Britain. He signed for Plymouth Argyle from Barking Town in 1921.Jack F. Leslie is a former football player. He signed for Plymouth Argyle from Barking Town in 1921. Leslie scored over 400 goals in his career, 134 of those for Plymouth in 400 appearances. He retired in 1935. A call-up to the national team was cancelled when officials realized he was a “a man of colour.

Jack Leslie

Jack Leslie


Despite an impressive 15-year run which saw him playing to crowds of over 40,000 people and notching up an impressive 400 match appearances with over 130 goals, Leslie suff ered catcalls from the crowd, who discriminated against him because he was black.

“I used to get a lot of abuse in matches. ‘Here darkie, I’m gonna break your leg,’ they’d shout.

“There was nothing wicked about it – they were just trying to get under my skin.”

Argyle co-ordinator Peter Hall reminisces about the times he saw Leslie play.


“On August 26, 1933 – I was six years old – we played Manchester Utd and won 4-1. “I always remember that Jack Leslie played a huge part in that win – it was a real treat to watch him play. He was everywhere, his passing was first class, and his shooting power was enormous. If there ever was an Argyle legend, it was Jack Leslie.”

No Black Footballers for England

Leslie proved himself as a top goal-scorer, holding the record for the most league goals scored (35) between 1927 and 1929, but this still wasn’t enough for officials who believed he wasn’t fit to join the esteemed national side.

“They found out I was a darkie and I suppose that was like finding out I was foreign.”

This shattered Leslie’s dreams of an international career.

He famously commented to Pilgrims teammate and later journalist Brian Woolnough,

“They must have forgotten I was a coloured boy.”


Jack Leslie retired in 1934, later he went to work for his local club West Ham United as part of their back room team.

Related Links

BBC – Footballer Jack Leslie
Wikipedia – Jack Leslie




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Racism: on the pitch but off the agenda

Racism: on the pitch but off the agenda

By Jon Burnett :  Original Article IRR

24 November 2011, 5:00pm

What should we make of recent allegations of racism in football?

Show Racism the Red Card

Show Racism the Red Card

UNTIL recently, the narrative on racism in English football resembled something of a self-congratulatory redemption story. The forms of racist abuse that were explicit in the 1980s – fans throwing bananas at black players, spitting at them when they took a throw-in, making monkey-noises when they received the ball, not ‘counting’ the goals they scored for the national team – were all seen, by and large, as things of the past. Similarly, the racial abuse that footballers had to endure by opposing players (and in some cases team-mates) was generally explained away as a regrettable reminder of a bygone era. ‘Moved on’ was the general perception: football, aside from the odd remark from the odd bad apple, had ‘moved on’.

The question as to exactly how far the game has moved on has been thrown open with the allegations that England captain John Terry racially abused Anton Ferdinand in October and, in November, with the Football Association (FA) charging Liverpool striker Luis Suarez with racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. These may be especially high-profile incidents, yet they show a reality in football in which racism is very much a factor in the present.

In the last two months alone five high-profile footballers, Sammy Ameobi, Jay Bothroyd, Frazier Campbell, Anton Ferdinand and James Vaughan, have had racist comments sent to them through twitter; and the former footballer and now ‘Talksport’ pundit Stan Collymore was threatened with violence through the same format for speaking out against racism. On the pitch, Chelsea fans allegedly sang racist chants to Daniel Sturridge, a striker playing for their club, recently. Arsenal supporters chanted ‘it should have been you’ to Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor, referring to an incident last year when he was on a bus with team-mates from Togo and gunmen shot and killed the driver, the media officer and the team’s assistant coach. (Tottenham fans, incidentally, also racially abused him when he was playing for Real Madrid against them earlier this year.) The Blyth Spartans player, Richard Offiong, claimed that another footballer said to him ‘where are your bananas? Show me your passport’ a few weeks ago.[1] And, returning to social media, Worcester City footballer Lee Smith tweeted on Armistice Day that ‘Illegal immigrants’ should f**k off out of are (sic) country … kill um’, before initially defending his comments and saying he was not really serious about inciting murder.[2]

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Stan Collymore

Stan Collymore is a black British former footballer who played for Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Aston villa

Stan Collymore

Stan Collymore is remembered as being one of Footballs bad boys. He has now retired from professional football. He was an extremely successful Striker.
Born January 22, 1971 in Stone in Staffordshire.

He joined Walsall in 1989 but the club later canceled his Y.T.S contract. In July 1989 Wolves agreed to complete his trainee term but despite scoring 18 goals from 20 games for their youth team he was released. He started to make his name with Vauxhall Conference side Stafford Rangers when Steve Coppell signed him for Crystal Palace. His appearances in the Palace first team were infrequent as a result of the Chris Armstrong occupying his favoured striking position. So Southend United bought him 150,000 Pounds in October 1992.

Collymore was suddenly a bigger fish in a smaller pool and his 18 goals in 33 games at Roots Hall won him a big money move to Nottingham Forest. Brian Clough had seemed set to take him after selling Teddy Sheringham but had baulked at Southend’s 2,000,000 Pounds asking price. It was new manager Frank Clark who signed him in July 1993 for Forest’s then-record 2,200,000 Pounds fee.

Scoring 19 goals in 28 League games really helped Forest’s return to the top flight. He then proved that he could produce at the highest level by again top-scoring with 25 goals (22 League) including 10 in the last two months to help the club to third place in the Premiership and a return to European competition.

Alex Ferguson failed in a bid to sign him just prior to signing Andy Cole. In April, Aston Villa also met with a rejection after offering 5,000,000 Pounds but, in the same month, he received his first England call-up for squad training. He won his first England cap in June 1995 against Japan but was substituted after a disappointing performance.

He also came on as a late substitute against Brazil. He left the City Ground for a British record 8,500,000 Pounds in July to move to Liverpool. He scored a notable winner on his League debut against Sheffield Wednesday but the next three months brought only one more goal and he was replaced by Robbie Fowler. An interview given to a football magazine in which he criticised the club and manager Roy Evans led to him making a humiliating apology.

Stans ability to get himself into trouble, has ultimately and overshadowed his footballing talent and probably damaged his reputation as a player

However Stan formed a formidable partnership with Robbie Fowler and ended up scoring 14 Premiership goals in his first season. Collymore was unlucky not to make the England squad for Euro 96. The 1996-97 season saw more off-field rows with Roy Evans, and injuries restricted his appearances to 25 in the Premiership. However he still scored 12 premiership goals in a seasons tally of 16.

Brian Little-Aston Villa Manager expressed his admiration for Stan who was a Villa supporter as a boy. Liverpool’s failure to win the Premiership enabled Little to get his man, and 7 million Pounds tempted Liverpool into parting company with their record signing. But after only a few months Stan was hell raising again, the media loved his drink fueled outbursts and his rocky relationships with female TV personalities. Villa had had enough and Stan was bought by Leicester City. Stan finished his career with brief periods at Bradford City and Spanish club Ovieda.

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John Barnes – Footballer

John Barnes

John Barnes

John Barnes was an exciting Black footballer playing for Liverpool in the 1980’s and 90’s.

Three years after his spectacular solo goal for England against Brazil at Rio’s Maracana Stadium the exciting Jamaican-born winger was signed from Watford for 900,000 pounds by Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish in 1987 as part of his team reshaping following the departure of Ian Rush to Juventus.

Barnes linked up with other new recruits Peter Beardsley, Ray Houghton and John Aldridge in a swashbuckling lineup that swept to the Championship in style, with Barnes scoring 15 times in 38 outings.

John Barnes will always be remembered as a brave man though as he shrugged off racist abuse in 1987, bananas were hurled at him during a match.Liverpool also equaled the record of 29 League games unbeaten from the start of the season and reached the FA Cup Final, losing to Wimbledon.

The impact of Barnes earned him the votes of both the football writers and his fellow professionals of the PFA as the 1988 double Footballer of the year. The following season he won a FA Cup medal and in 1989-90 his 22 goals earned him a second title medal.

During Graeme Souness’s period as manager Barnes was appointed club captain and switched from the wing to a central midfield role.
After Roy Evans had taken over as manager, Barnes won a Coca-Cola Cup medal in 1994-95.

He joined Newcastle United in 1997, received an MBE a year later and after a loan spell with Charlton became Celtic coach in 1999, though he was to part company with them early in 2000.

In 2008 Barnes took over as manager of the Jamaica National team, and had some success, guiding the team to the 2008 Caribbean Championships, qualifying as the top Caribbean side for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

However Barnes was hankering to be back in club football and after an unsuccessful bid to manage Port Vale, he was appointed Tranmere Rovers manager in June 2009.

Tranmere had a terrible run of form resulting in Barnes being sacked after just 12 games.

Barnes is also involved with the creation of TEAM48 motorsport, a team aiming to promote young racing drivers of Caribbean background.

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Cyrille Regis – Footballer



Cyrille Regis, Is a famous black British footballer, he was one of the earliest black players in the modern leagues. The striker, whose trademark was scoring highly spectacular goals, began his playing career at West Brom with star players like Laurie Cunningham, Brendon Batson, Derek Statham, Len Cantello and Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown.

Regis broke into the first team at West Bromwhich Albion within a few months of signing for West Brom in May 1977 and remembers some of the racial abuse that he endured initially from some of the Hawthorns crowd;

“I think they were rebelling against me ’cause I’d taken a white guy’s place in the team.” (Quoted in Cashmore, 1981, p154).

However, the West Brom fans, impressed by his early scoring exploits were quick to warm to the former electrician who had joined Albion from non-league Hayes. Regis believed that it was this early recognition and acceptance of his talents by both the club and fans alike, which allowed his career at West Brom to develop.

Large black communities in nearby Handsworth also provided support for Regis and his colleagues at a time when black fans were reluctant to attend matches for fear of their own safety. Regis would later reach the pinnacle of his career in 1987, when he was a key figure in Coventry City’s F.A. Cup winning triumph.
He stayed at Coventry City where another seven years winning the only major medal of his career. He then played two years for Aston Villa and ended his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wycombe Wanderers and Chester

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Clyde Best MBE-Footballer

Clyde Best

Clyde Best

Clyde Best was one of the first black footballers to succeed in the English Football League and paved the way for a whole generation to make their way into the professional game. Clyde Best made 186 appearances for West Ham United in a six year spell at Upton Park and bagged a respectable 47 goals. Clyde moved to the United States in the 1980’s and started up a cleaning business in California.

However, he gave it all up in 1997 when he returned to his native Bermuda and answered their call to take control of the national football team.’ Clyde was a big, bustling centre-forward who scored goals for fun. Clyde Best took a lot of stick as one of the pioneering black footballers ( racism was rife in until the early 90’s at football grounds, and still is to a degree in the lower leagues), but he was a firm favourite of most of the Hammers fans. Clyde played alongside the greats of Upton Park such as Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Trevor Brooking.

Best was inducted into the Bermuda National Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He was awarded an MBE in the January 2006 New Year’s Honours list for services to football and the community in Bermuda.

Related Links

Clyde Best – football Unites Racism Divides
Clyde Best – Southend Echo

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Who was your favourite footballer and why?


We all have our favourites for one reason or another, maybe your favourite player was the first black player to play for your local team, or perhaps he was a prolific goalscorer with amazing skills.  Who was your Favourite footballer and why?

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The Walter Tull Campaign – More Information about Walter Tull and News about the Campaign

Tull Family

Tull Family

Walter Tull was born at 16 Allendale Street, Folkstone in April 1888. His father was a joiner from St Thomas Parish in Barbados and came to Britain in 1876. He married a local girl from Folkestone in 1880 and together they had six children. In 1897, Walter and his siblings were orphaned when first his mother and then his father died within two years of one another.

In 1898, Walter and his brother Edward were sent to an orphanage in London. After he finished school, he served as an apprentice printer, but in 1908 due to his footballing talent, Clapton Football club (later Leyton Orient) invited him to join them. He later came to the attention of Tottenham Hotspur and made his debut for the club in 1909. He received much praise from the footballing press.

However, during a game at Bristol, Walter was targeted with a torrent of racial abuse by a section of the crowd. Thereafter Tottenham played him mainly in the reserve team.

In February 1911 Walter came to the attention of Northampton Town Football Club, when The Cobblers were beaten 7-1 by Spurs in a reserve team fixture.
The Northampton Football Echo noted that: “After 11 minutes Tull scored a pretty goal for Tottenham.” Walter went on to score a hat trick.

By October 1911 Walter had moved to Albany Road, Northampton, and was to play over 110 games for the Cobblers first team. He later lived in Queen Street, Rushden where he also played for Rushden Town Cricket Club with his friend Eric Tompkins (who played county cricket for Northamptonshire).

In December 1914, Walter became the first Cobblers player to enlist in the First World War. Military rules had initially prevented Black people joining White regiments, but Tull fought on the Western Front in the 17th (1st Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. In 1916, Walter was invalided out as a result of trench fever and was sent to Officer Cadet Training School in Scotland, even though Black people were officially excluded from exercising actual command because it was deemed to be bad for discipline.

In May 1917 he became Britain’s first Black infantry officer, a 2nd Lieutenant of the 23rd Middlesex (2nd Football). Walter was sent to Italy where he was mentioned in dispatches for his: “coolness and gallantry in battle”. By March 1918 he was back in France, where he was killed during the 2nd battle of the Somme near Favrenil in no-man’s land.

In 1997 an appeal was launched in Northampton to recognise Walter Tull’s achievements, inspired by research undertaken by Phil Vasili and an enthusiastic local fan. In July 1999 a memorial to Walter was finally unveiled at Sixfields the home ground of The Cobblers, and the approach road to the stadium renamed Walter Tull Way. More recently, the offices of Probabtion Services in the centre of Northampton have been renamed Walter Tull House.

Walter’s status as a war hero should also be considered in the context of other un-named Black soldiers who fought for Britain in both World Wars and other battles across the world over hundreds of years.

Plans are afoot:

1. To rename the school he attended in Folkstone as The Walter Tull School.
2. To erect a statue of Walter Tull at the newly planned Spurs Stadium
3. To replay the match between Spurs & Bristol City in memory of the racial abuse Walter suffered 100 years ago.
4. To include the story of Walter Tull in the National Curriculum
5. To erect a permanent memorial to Walter Tull in Folkstone
6. and of course… to posthumously award Walter the Victoria Cross that he was recommended to receive but did not.

Just let us know what you would like to do and send us your contact details
The Walter Tull Campaign

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Discrimination in the British Armed Forces-1914

Walter Tull was the first black outfield footballer in Britain. Born in Folkestone in 1888 he was of mixed parentage. His father was from Barbados and his mother was English. Sadly, both his parents died at an early age, so Walter and his Brother were brought up in an orphanage in East London. Walter’s brother Edward was adopted and went to live in Scotland with the Warnocks, where he late worked as a dentist in Aberdeen and Glasgow. Walter stayed behind in London.

While at the orphanage he enjoyed playing football and was an exceptional talent. He was playing for Clapton when in 1909 he was spotted by Tottenham Hotspur. Walter and his Spurs Team mates. Walter was a trained printer but gave up his profession for a more exciting career in football. Spurs paid him a £10 signing on fee, ( the maximum at that time and his wages were £4 per week. After some time it became clear that Walter was not quick enough to be a striker and so he transferred to Northampton Town in 1911.

He played for Northampton until the outbreak of the First World War. Lieutenant Tull and his Brother Edward He enlisted in 17th and 23rd battalion of the Middlesex Regiment (2nd Football). The division was made up of Footballers. Despite military rules at the time forbidding any Black soldiers to become officers, Walter Tull was commissioned in May 1917. Second Lieutenant Tull was killed in action in the 2nd Battle of the Somme,France. His body was never identified.

Related Websites: Walter Tull More Tull info

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Task force to boot out racism in Soccer

Kick Racism

Kick Racism

I tried Several times to use the Independents embed code but it simply would not work. Below is the link to the article.


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