First black professional footballer celebrated at World Cup

19 Jun 2006 / News

Staff and young people from Football Unites were delighted on Saturday when a delegation of Ghanaian fans wound a path from the DOM Cathedral in Cologne to our nearby Streetkick game drumming, singing and dancing.

FIFA and the World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) have employed Football Unites’ inflatable Streetkick to help ensure a racism-free tournament. The project was arranged by the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network with events taking place in Munich, Nuremberg, Berlin and Cologne.

First black footballer

The Cologne event, held shortly before Ghana's historic 2 – 0 win over the Czech Republic, featured an exhibition on the life of Arthur Wharton, the world's first black footballer, who came to England in the nineteenth century from the Gold Coast, now Ghana.

Football Unites, Racism Divides Coordinator, Howard Holmes, commented;
“It was a privilege to be able to make the link between Arthur Wharton and the achievement of the Ghana team in reaching the World Cup finals for the first time. Perhaps it was the spirit of Arthur that lifted the Ghanaians to such a sensational performance!”

The Streetkick game returns to Cologne on Tuesday 20 June 2005, ahead of England's final World Cup group game against Sweden.