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Arthur Wharton Heritage Project

One of FURD's constant themes from its beginnings has been the fantastic story of Arthur Wharton, the world's first black professional footballer, world sprint record holder, professional cricketer and an outstanding Victorian sportsman.

At the FURD launch back in April 1996 we started an appeal to raise a headstone on Arthur's unmarked grave, in Edlington Cemetery, near Doncaster. This aim was realised in May 1997, and FURD has worked regularly ever since with Wharton's biographer, Phil Vasili, and granddaughter, Sheila Leeson. Sheila's crucial role in bringing her grandfather's story to the world was formally recognised by the FA at a pitch-side ceremony before the England-Ghana international at Wembley in March 2011.

In September 2011, a new chapter of the story opened - FURD secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to run a two-year Arthur Wharton Heritage Project. This involved poets, artists, drama workers and filmmakers working with schools in South Yorkshire to uncover and explore various aspects of Arthur's story - including his careers as a cricketer and a miner. The end results include an educational DVD, exhibition, comic and the arthurwharton.info website - these are all valuable teacher's aids in demonstrating the relevance of Arthur's life to today's society.

Please contact FURD if you or your school/youth group would like to get involved.

More information about Wharton can be found elsewhere on our site, and on the Arthur Wharton Story website, by following the links below. The AW Heritage Project is also on Twitter - see link below.

Arthur (centre) with the Cleveland Cup
Arthur Wharton with the Cleveland Cup

Related news

FURD thrilled at Heritage Lottery Fund support to tell hidden story of Arthur Wharton FURD thrilled at Heritage Lottery Fund support to tell hidden story of Arthur Wharton
5 July 2011
Football Association pays tribute to Sheila Leeson Football Association pays tribute to Sheila Leeson
24 March 2011

Internal links

Link to another Football Unites page Arthur Wharton

External links

Link to an external website Arthur Wharton on Twitter
Link to an external website Arthur Wharton Story
Link to an external website Heritage Lottery Fund: The story of a Yorkshire sportsman
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