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Arthur Wharton’s historic return home

Arthur Wharton Maquette to be presented to Ministry of Sports in Ghana

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This week, representatives of the Arthur Wharton Foundation will be travelling to Ghana to present the Ministry of Sport with an Arthur Wharton Maquette statue – symbolically, Arthur’s return to his homeland. The handover event will take place in Jamestown, Ghana, where Arthur was born and on the date of his birth, 28th October (1865).

Arthur Wharton was the ‘World’s First Black Professional Footballer’, who made his name while playing for Darlington FC (1883-1888).

Arthur was also the ‘World’s First 100 yard Sprint Champion’, which he ran in a time of 10 seconds  at the AAA Championships at Stamford Bridge, London, in 1886; a British Cycling Champion; Professional Cricketer; and he played Rugby  – a remarkable sportsman.

Ironic then, that here we are, some 130 years after Arthur Wharton pioneered the way for the black footballers of today, celebrating his achievements and contributions to football and sport and on his return to home soil,  and yet it is amidst the ugly face of racism in what is allegedly ‘The beautiful game’ that is football – in 2012.

The Arthur Wharton Foundation acknowledges and pays tribute to the work of all organizations who dedicate their time and commitment to tackling racism.

We also applaud those individuals who have put their heads above the parapet and shared their forthright opinions and actions, in recognizing the need to tackle the issues head on and in a much more demonstrative and proactive way.

The dis-connect between players, organizations, and governing bodies is a clear indication that there is something seriously wrong at the heart of the debate concerning racism in football.

Next Sunday, on the 28th October, as we present the Arthur Wharton Maquette statue to Ghanaian authorities, we ask those organizations and all others involved in the current issues to take a moment to remember Arthur Wharton, the first pioneer who blazed a trail for all black footballers of today – and tomorrow.

For more info on the Arthur Wharton Foundation contact:

Shaun Campbell (Founder – Arthur Wharton Foundation) : T +44 (0) 1325 257722 – Mob: +44 (0) 7854473516

Email: shaun@arthurwharton.com

Web: www.arthurwharton.com

Twitter: @arthurwharton