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A timeline of Arthur's life

A Date-by-date historical timeline, showing the major events in Arthur Wharton's life.  Orignally produced by Doncaster Museum and used here by kind permission.

Born in Accra, Gold Coast (Ghana), West Africa. Father Methodist Minister and Missionary from Grenada (West Indies). Mother related to Fante Royal family (Gold Coast). Both parents have part Scottish ancestry.

Arthur�s older brothers return to Accra from Wesleyan College in England.

Asante uprising in Gold Coast.

Arthur accompanies father and older sister Clara to England, where she attends Boarding School. Arthur returns, probably to attend Wesleyan Elementary School in James Town, Accra.

Father supervises Methodist Missionary service in Gold Coast. Serious earthquake in Accra.

Anglo-Asante War. Father serves as Chaplain to the Methodists in the British anti-Asante force, but dies while recuperating in Madeira. Later Arthur�s mother moves back to Cape Coast, her hometown in the Gold Coast.

Arthur sent to London to be educated at Dr Cheyne�s Burlington Road School for 4 years.

A racially-divided legal system and administration is put into place in Gold Coast, lasting until 1882.

Arthur attends the Wesleyan High School, Cape Coast. Cricket, athletics and football are all played within the Euro-African community.

Arthur and 3 cousins leave for England. His uncle (newspaper proprietor and wealthy entrepreneur) supports Arthur�s education at Shoal Hill Methodist College, Cannock, in the Midlands.

Studies Divinity for 3 years and plays for the Cannock and White Cross Football Club. Also plays rugby, and cricket for the Wesleyan band of Hope Cricket Club.

Shoal Hill closes, so Arthur moves to Cleveland College, Co. Durham. Takes up amateur Athletics through links with the Darlington Cricket and Football Club.

Plays 32 amateur football matches for Darlington as Goalkeeper, also for Newcastle and Durham teams. Runs for Birchfield Harriers, (near Birmingham). Wins the AAA 100 yards Sprint Championship in 10 seconds at Stamford Bridge, London - a record that stands for over 30 years.

Goalkeeper for Preston North End and Middlesbrough. Several Charity matches. (Benefit match at Darlington - last amateur season). Arthur is nominated to play for England, but not selected. Still competing as amateur runner. Cycling record - tricycle race from Blackburn to Preston. Arthur considers returning to Africa at the end of his studies.

Football League begins. Arthur moves to Sheffield, leaving Darlington, to take up professional status as runner (�pedestrianism�). Trains in Sheffield (with other black runners) and in Rotherham for the Doncaster Sprint Handicap in September. Still playing football for Preston North End, also plays rugby at Heckmondwyke.

Plays professional football as a spectacular goalkeeper for Rotherham Town. Carries a heavy handicap in professional running at Edinburgh. Plays professional cricket for (Rotherham) Greasborough.

Retires as a professional runner. Marries Emma Lister of Greasborough. Foundry workers strike in Rotherham results in poor attendances at Rotherham Town F.C.

Takes over the Albert Tavern, Rotherham as licensee. Plays cricket for Rawmarsh (Rotherham) and Rotherham Borough Police, as well as football for the Town F.C.

Licensee of the Plough Inn, Greasborough.

Lengthy Miner�s strike results in difficulties for Rotherham Town F.C. Arthur applies (unsuccessfully) for position with the Government Service of the Gold Coast.

Arthur transfers to play for Sheffield United F. C. Also manages the Sportsman's Cottage pub on Button Lane in Sheffield city centre. Still playing cricket in Rotherham.

Shoulder-charging against the Goalkeeper is at last disallowed, reducing risk of injury.

Arthur returns briefly to Rotherham Town after the Sheffield season but the Town Club is in difficulty. Signs up with Stalybridge Rovers F.C. as player/coach. Plays professional cricket for Stalybridge. A military force from GB is sent to fight against the Asante in the Gold Coast.

Arthur joins Ashton North End F.C. as Captain, playing centre forward. Later reverts to goalkeeping. Member of the newly formed Players Union. Some illness is recorded.
Ashton North End closes down. Arthur returns to Stalybridge Rovers.

Arthur is selected for the Rest of Lancashire League team. The Boer war in Southern Africa begins, G.B. being heavily involved. A team of black footballers from South Africa tours G.B.

Arthur resigns from Stalybridge Rovers. G.B. war against the Asante in the Gold Coast continues.

Arthur joins Stockport County Football Club.

Arthurs last Football League appearance. He retires from professional sport and leaves Lancashire.

Publican in Rotherham

Plays cricket for Rotherham Town Club, including a memorable match against Denaby.

Great industrial unrest in the North.

Arthur is offered Cricket Coaching work in County Durham, but cannot take it because there is no paid work available for him in the area.

Works at Yorkshire Main Colliery at Edlington, Doncaster, as a haulage hand, for 15 years. Lives in the village for the rest of his life.

General Strike. Arthur is a member of the Miners Federation (pre-cursor of the National Union of Mineworkers).

Arthur suffers long, painful illness. He is sent to Springwell House sanatorium. He dies on 12th December, at the age of 65, and is buried in the Municipal Cemetery at Edlington, in an unmarked grave.

Emma Wharton, Arthurs widow, dies childless and is interred at Masbrough Cemetery in Rotherham. Her niece, Minnie Wharton Proctor, is later buried beside her.

At a special ceremony, a memorial stone is placed over the grave of Arthur Wharton in Edlington Cemetery, Doncaster.
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