Who is Jack Leslie?
Jack Leslie should have been England’s first black player but when the selectors discovered his heritage, his name would never appear on the team sheet.
Jack was an outstanding player who joined Plymouth Argyle from Barking in 1921 and scored 137 goals in a long and illustrious career which ended in 1934.
Leslie was named in the England national team to face Ireland in 1925 and was told by his manager that he’d been called up. But after this selection, his name mysteriously disappeared from the team sheet, seemingly because FA officials had come to look at him in person and discovered that he was black.
So, not only was Jack an incredible player for his club, but his is also a story of great national and historical significance. It’s also one that sadly still resonates as racist incidents in football and in wider society continue to this day.
How can you help?
Due to the current uncertainty, the campaign proper won’t launch until we are all back on track, including football fixtures, of course. In the meantime we are working hard to ensure the fundraising is a success and any donation will be hugely helpful. We’ll give you a shout out on social media and on our contributors list on here.
If you are a company or individual wishing to donate a significant amount then do get in touch as we have plans for sponsorship and recognition which we can discuss. Drop us an email.
If you are unable to commit at present, please do join our mailing list for updates as we plan our launch. Understandably, this is on hold until later this year but we are getting prepared and making as many contacts as we can. The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive and if you’ve already helped us then thank you.
If you have any useful contacts, suggestions or pledges of support do please email us.
Who are we?
We are a group of like-minded football fans who feel passionately that the story of Jack Leslie should be more widely known. More about us here.
His former team, Plymouth Argyle, has now taken steps to honour Leslie, naming the new boardroom in the Mayflower Grandstand at Home Park after Jack. This has inspired us to keep his story alive, having been so sadly overlooked for many years.