England’s first black footballer Jack Leslie awarded a posthumous cap


Jack Leslie who scored 137 goals in 400 appearances for Plymouth Argyle between 1921 and 1934 was robbed of the chance to represent England due to racism

Jack Leslie who scored 137 goals in 400 appearances for Plymouth Argyle between 1921 and 1934 was robbed of the chance to represent England due to racism

The first black player to receive an England call-up is to be given a posthumous honorary cap after being denied an appearance due to the colour of his skin, the English Football Association said Friday.

Jack Leslie, who scored 137 goals in 400 appearances for Plymouth Argyle between 1921 and 1934, was called up to the national team in 1925.

But when selectors discovered his heritage, Leslie was robbed of the chance to represent the Three Lions due to racial discrimination.

“Jack Leslie is a true football legend who, through his own adversity, has positively shaped attitudes and behaviours to identify and remove discrimination from football,” the FA’s chair Debbie Hewitt said.

“The FA is awarding Jack a posthumous honorary cap, to recognise his unique contribution and set of circumstances – and to right the historical wrong.”

Leslie died in 1988 and is to be immortalised by a statue that will be formally unveiled outside Plymouth’s Home Park on Friday.

His granddaughter Lesley Hiscott told the BBC: “The whole situation to us is like a dream, we have to keep pinching ourselves to make sure it really is happening and to actually see the statue there.

“At long last grandad’s getting the recognition he deserved.”



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