Players, fans, teachers and anti-racism campaigners pay tribute to new Black Pioneer Comic

30 Sep 2015 / News

Manchester City talisman Yaya Toure is the latest person to back the new comic from FURD, Albert Johanneson, the First Black Superstar. Yaya has tweeted a pic of himself reading the latest comic in the FURD Pioneers series, and messaged:Great to see @FURDday producing resources to raise awareness of African pioneers like Albert Johanneson

The 24-page comic book telling the inspirational, yet sadly poignant story, of Albert Johanneson, the first black footballer to appear in an FA Cup Final, when playing for Leeds United v Liverpool on 1965. The comic follows the success of the first edition in the FURD Pioneers series Arthur Wharton, Victorian Sporting Superstar

Albert had grown up in Apartheid South Africa, where state-sponsored racial discrimination was the crude tool by which everyday society functioned; sadly he found early Sixties Britain a deeply prejudiced country where institutional racism was firmly ingrained.

Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out commented The FURD Pioneers Series is very exciting, innovative, informative and enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Albert, one of the very first Black footballers who I drew inspiration from during that period of unbelievable stress and struggle

Teachers, fans and former players have lent support:

I read about Albert a while ago but the real importance and relevance of his story came across to me much more reading this comic, not only regarding the racism in his life but also the celebrity/drinking culture that still happens today Paul Hallam, teacher, Accrington

As an avid Leeds United supporter I think it tells the story very well and shows the awful prejudice he had to fight David Gatenby, Leeds United supporter

To us young, football-crazy lads growing up in Chapeltown, Leeds, in the early 1970s, Albert Johanneson was a name that we were all familiar with. Although his career was over, we knew he had been a great player for Leeds United and an inspiration for the next generation of black footballing talent in the city. He was a true pioneer, and one can only imagine how hard it must have been for Albert as the only black person in the stadium, never mind just on the pitch, in an age when there was open hostility against people purely because of the colour of their skin Brian Deane, England, Leeds United and Sheffield United

The comic has received backing from the SA-UK Seasons 2014-15 programme, the Fare Network and Professional Footballers Association in the UK, and the South African Football Players Union. Comic book launches are to set to take place in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Leeds.

Future editions in the FURD Pioneers series will feature Walter Tull, the first black officer in the British Army, who played for Spurs and Northampton Town, and Rabbi Howell, the first Romani England international.

For further details on how to obtain a copy of the Albert Johanneson comic book contact Howard Holmes on 07973 414 722, or email