As the issue of racism has sadly reared its ugly head again in recent months, this painting celebrates the achievements of black players who blazed a trail for others to follow.
1. Viv Anderson MBE: First black player to represent England in a full international match. He was part of the great Forest side that won back to back European Cups.
Clubs included: Nottingham Forest, Arsenal, Manchester United.
2. Arthur Wharton: Widely considered to be the first black, profesional association football player in the world and first to play in English Football League. He is also the world record holder of the 100 yard dash.
Clubs included: Darlington, Preston, Stockport.
3. Brendon Batson MBE: First black player to play for the "Gunners". With Cunningham and Regis, he formed the back bone of the West Brom team of the late 70s, which manager Ron Atkinson.
Clubs included: Arsenal, Cambridge, West Brom.
4. Walter Tull MC: First Afro-Caribbean/mixed heritage oufield player in the top division of English football and the first black officer in the British Army. Killed in action.
Clubs included: Tottenham and Northampton Town.
5. Tony Ford MBE: Has the all-time record for matches played in the English league by an outfield player. One of only two outfield players to have passed 1,000 games in competitive matches.
Clubs included: Grimsby, West Brom, Mansfield.
6. Albert Johanneson: Born in South Africa, he became the first black player to feature in the FA Cup final; Leeds vs Liverpool in 1965
Clubs included: Leeds United and York City.
7. Jack Leslie: The only professional black player in England during his time with Plymouth. He was set to become the first non-white player to represent England at international level but was denied the opportunity when selectors were made aware that he was "a man of colour"
8. Paul Ince: Became the first black player to captain the England team on the 9th June 1993 against the USA. He was also the first black Briton to manage in the Premier League when appointed at Blackburn Rovers in June 2008.
Clubs included: West Ham, Manchester United, Internazionale, Liverpool.
9. Laurie Cunningham: First black player to represent England at any level (under 21) and the first Englishman to play for Real Madrid where he won La Liga once and the Copa del Rey twice. He was an FA Cup winner with Wimbledon and along with Brendon Batson and Cyrille Regis he formed the backbone of Ron Atkinson's West Brom team.
Clubs included: Leyton Orient, West Brom, Real Madrid, Wimbledon.
10. Lindy Delapenha: First Jamaican to play professional football in England. During his time at Portsmouth he was the first black player to win a League Championship medal.
Clubs included: Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Mansfield
11. Cyrille Regis MBE: After being voted PFA Young Player of the Year in 1978, French born Regis went on to enjoy a 19 year career mainly in the Midlands. With Batson and Cunningham, he formed the backbone of Ron Atkinson's team at West Brom.
Clubs included: West Brom, Coventry, Aston Villa.
12. Keith Alexander: Played for clubs including Grimsby, Lincoln and Barnet before becoming the Football League's first black, full-time, professional manager. He had three successive play-offs with Lincoln and was managing Macclesfield when he tragically died in 2010.
First Amongst Equals
Handmade artwork printed in high resolution on premium white art paper. Prints are unframed.
All prints come numbered and signed by the artist, Bernard Kelly.