A statue honoring Arthur Wharton has been unveiled at St. George’s Park.
The 16-foot permanent memorial will recognize the pioneering achievements of Wharton, the world’s first black professional footballer. The statue, by acclaimed sculptor Vivien Mallock, stands in the centre of the St. George’s Cross in the memorial garden at the entrance to the FA’s National Football Centre.
Arthur Wharton was born in Ghana in 1865, moved to the UK in 1882 and was signed by Darlington at the age of 19. He had moved to Darlington with the intention of training as a Methodist missionary but opted instead to become a full-time athlete. And during a career that spanned 17 years, he went on to play as a goalkeeper for Preston North End, Rotherham Town, Sheffield United and Stockport County.
Not just skilled with a ball, Wharton was a true all-round athlete. In 1886 he became the Amateur Athletics Association’s national 100-yard running champion – and become the first man to run 100 yards in ten seconds flat.
This, is an athlete.
* He was an all-round sportsman – in 1886, he set a then world record of 10 seconds for a 100-yard sprint in the AAA championship. He was also a keen cyclist and cricketer, playing for local teams in Yorkshire and Lancashire. However, Wharton is best remembered for his exploits as a footballer; while he was not the first mixed-race footballer in the United Kingdom — leading amateurs Robert Walker and Scotland international Andrew Watson predate him — he was the first mixed-race footballer to turn professional.
In 2003 Wharton was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in recognition of the impact he made on the game.
* Random Side note * Did you check out this cats lettuce?!!?
Arthur Wharton – Wiki