Blue plaque for Arthur Wharton unveiled

18 Sep 2012 / News

A blue plaque to honour Arthur Wharton has been unveiled by Tameside Council at the Tameside Stadium, home of Curzon Athletic Football Club, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire.

Wharton, the world's first black professional footballer, was on the books of two now-defunct Tameside teams, Stalybridge Rovers and Ashton North End, in the 1890s, first joining Stalybridge Rovers from Rotherham Town as player-coach in 1896. Both enjoyed brief success and even applied for election to the Football League.

For a time, Wharton was also the proprietor of a tobacconist's shop on Old Street, Ashton. He also played professional cricket for Stalybridge.

The blue plaque was unveiled on 7th September 2012 by Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, and Councillor Dawson Lane, project head for sport and leisure at Tameside Council, with Sky Sports News filming proceedings for a television feature shown later that day.

The event also involved schoolchildren reading poetry about Wharton taken from FURD's website, and exhibitions and speakers provided by FURD.