Lottery cash to celebrate Rotherham's black soccer pioneer

By Phil Turner | 02/09/2010 0 comments

Lottery cash to celebrate Rotherham's black soccer pioneer

ANTI-racist campaigners have been given a £7,500 lottery grant towards a project exploring the extraordinary life of Rotherham Town player Arthur Wharton, the world’s first black professional footballer.

Football Unites Racism Divides has been awarded the grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to help create a documentary film, drama and art exhibition to celebrate Arthur Wharton, who spent most of his life in South Yorkshire.

The work will be made available to communities, schools and colleges to enable Wharton’s legacy to become more widely known and appreciated.

The Arthur Wharton Heritage Project will focus on the remarkable achievements of the Ghanaian-born 19th century footballer, runner, cricketer, cyclist and rugby player, who played for Rotherham and Sheffield United among others, in the 1890s.

He also set the world record for the 100-yard sprint in 1886.

One of Wharton’s unique traits as a goalkeeper was to catch the ball between his legs while hanging from the crossbar.

FURD hopes to bring people and groups into heritage research using filmmaking, art and drama, illustrating the great legacy Arthur Wharton left behind.
 


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