Aims & Objectives
1. To raise funds for and build a statue of Jack Leslie at Home Park where he played professionally for Plymouth Argyle.
2. To promote and share Jack’s story.
3. To celebrate diversity and combat racism.
WHO WAS 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.
THE BALLAD OF JACK LESLIE
The campaign was, in part, inspired by this storytelling song written by one of the founders. You can read about the campaign origins here and listen to and buy the song to support the fundraising effort…..