Forgotten Heroes: The Story of the Early Black Football Pioneers

Ref: C3747458

In Sheffield May 1997 two guys were discussing a BBC Look North item about the world's first black professional footballer, Arthur Wharton. They thought it was Leeds United's Albert Johanneson in the 60s, yet 70 years earlier, was Arthur, the first black player in the Football League when he played for Sheffield United at Sunderland in February 1895. Football Unites, Racism Divides (FURD) has been uncovering and spreading the hidden stories of football's Black Pioneers since its inception in 1995, beginning with leading a campaign to build a headstone on Arthur's unmarked grave in 1997. The story of the first black professional and world record sprint champion, had been forgotten since his death in 1930. Arthur's achievements prove there was a black presence at the dawn of the professional game, and we will explore his story in detail, as well as Walter Tull, Albert Johanneson and other black pioneers, many of whom were unknown outside of their club.

Course aim

Howard Holmes the founder of Football Unites, Racism Divides (FURD), and Chair of the FURD Educational Trust, talks about the amazing stories of the early black football pioneers.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Be able to list a range of early black football players
  • Identify some of the stories of the football players and their contributions to the game
  • Learn about the work of FURD in tackling racism
  • None

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Nothing but an enthusiasm and curiosity to learn.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Forgotten Heroes: The Story of the Early Black Football Pioneers


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