Invitation to unveiling of Arthur Wharton stature

| October 15, 2014

Dear All

David Sheepshanks. Photo courtesy www.sirbobbysbreakthrough.com

David Sheepshanks. Photo courtesy www.sirbobbysbreakthrough.com

I am writing to invite you to join The Football Association and supporters from across the game to a very special occasion.  We will be unveiling a statue of Arthur Wharton, who became the world’s first black professional footballer after signing for Rotherham United in 1889.

We are absolutely delighted that this iconic statue is going to be based at St. George’s Park where we set very high standards in learning, coaching and education across the entire game.

Arthur, born in Accra, Ghana, was a courageous man and, undoubtedly, a pioneer of his time.  He moved to England, aged 19, in 1882 and went on to feature as a goalkeeper for his home-town club Darlington, as well as representing Rotherham United, Preston North End and Sheffield United.  Wharton was also a professional cricketer, cycling champion and rugby player in his pomp, regarded by many as one of the early pioneers and trailblazers in sport, achieving unparalleled success in the face of adversity.

This remarkable statue will be inspiration for coaches and players from every possible background to aspire to be the very best that they can be.  We are especially keen to encourage more male and female coaches from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, to strive for the top qualifications and jobs in English football.

The programme for the day will be as follows:

13.00

Lunch on arrival to Hilton Hotel

13.30

Welcome and tributes to Arthur Wharton by David Sheepshanks CBE,  Julie Harrington (The FA) and Shaun Campbell (Arthur Wharton Foundation)

Performance by Football Unites Racism Divides (FURD) representatives – children’s song about Arthur Wharton

14.15

Official unveiling of statue and photos in St George’s Park Memorial Garden

15.00

Refreshments

16.00

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I do hope you can join us on this very special occasion and we look forward to hearing from you.  Please RSVP Lisa Jones by Friday 10th October.

Regards.

David Sheepshanks CBE

Chairman

St Georges Park, Newborough Road, Needwood, Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire, DE13 9PD

lisa.jones@TheFA.com

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Category: African Caribbean, Culture & Society, Hot Topics, How Caribbean R U?, Sports

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