Raising funds for a statue to honour the footballer denied an England cap in 1925, just because he was black.
News update (July)
We launched the crowdfunder appeal on 1st July. it has been an amazing month!
Massive thanks for all your donations and efforts to spread the word. Your positivity has been amazing to see and we are so grateful for all your help. 10 days to go now and we’ve passed £82000! Please help us continue to spread the word and get the final donations in. This campaign is run by volunteers, has no paid fund-raisers or advertising, and we rely on you to share news of our campaign by word of mouth, social media, or just text/email the crowdfunder link to your friends, families and colleagues. Thank you!
FA CUP FINAL SOCIAL TOMORROW: London based supporters can join a select band (it’s a fully compliant, socially distanced event so numbers now very limited) in a great pub to watch the Cup Final and raise some money. Booking details here https://jackleslie.co.uk/news/fa-cup-fundraiser/ (We will have more events in Plymouth and across the country as we progress)
2 Our resident artist James Curnow (@Mayflower7) has some Jack leslie artwork – a Number of these 12x12cm Jack Leslie postcards left and now available to order from website jamescurno.co.uk/shop/ )100% of all profits going towards Campaign)
Linda Gilroy’s Photo of Michael Foot has been auctioned for the Jack Leslie Campaign!
This photograph is of Michael Foot, former leader of the Labour Party, sitting for a portrait for renowned artist Robert Lenkiewicz. The photo was taken circa 2001 by Labour MP, Linda Gilroy who served as the Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton from 1997 to 2010.
It is one of only 2 prints of the photograph currently in existence, of which no more than a maximum of 20 copies will ever be reproduced.
The photograph, kindly given to the campaign by Linda Gilmore, was auctioned on eBay ( here) and raised over £250 for the Campaign!
The painting, unfinished at the time of the artist’s death, was acquired by the House of Commons Art Commission and displayed in Portcullis House London (detail here)
The original photograph itself was exhibited in 2001 as part of an exhibition of photographs taken by MPs, originally in Westminster & later touring the country.
The image captures Michael Foot sporting the green and black scarf of his beloved home-town team Plymouth Argyle. It shows him sitting in Robert Lenkiewicz’s atmospheric studio in the historic Barbican area of Plymouth, amongst the artist’s other works. It also captures the canvass that Lekiewicz was working on. A piece of art in it’s own right, it captures the artist’s process as well as the effervescent nature of the late great Michael Foot.
The rear of the frame is signed by Linda Gilroy, to whom the Campaign expresses it’s grateful thanks.
ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE AUCTION WENT TO THE JACK LESLIE STATUE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN.
If you have something you wish to donate for the Campaign to raise funds, please get in touch via the website. Follow @JackLeslieCamp and @LeslieRaffle on twitter for details of future sales.
CURRENT RAFFLE – England top signed by Ian Wright-tickets £2- draw on 1st August- detail here
Devon supporters unite behind the campaign to build a statue of football legend Jack Leslie
The Jack Leslie Campaign is delighted to receive a substantial contribution today from Supporter Trusts of the three major professional clubs in Devon.
There is no doubt that rivalries between the county’s teams are always intense, but those feelings have been put aside in reaching a joint statement – backed by a donation – from the Supporter Trusts of Exeter City, Torquay United and Plymouth Argyle.
Fans of all three clubs agreed there is unity in the wish to fight racism and prejudice in football, and in the county.
This kicks off week 3 of an intense 6-week crowdfunding appeal, which has already attracted more than £70,000 in donations since its launch on July 1st.
The following statement was agreed between the trusts:
The Devon Football Supporters Trust’s Group, Comprising of The Argyle Fan’s Trust, Exeter City Supporters Trust and Torquay United Supporters Trust, are proud to support the Jack Leslie Campaign.
The Devon Football Supporters Trust Group believes in the spirit of community and collaboration. They will both collectively and individually challenge all forms of discrimination and hatred.
The Jack Leslie Campaign was launched to build a statue to celebrate Jack Leslie, picked to play for England back in 1925, but then denied his England cap when the selection committee realised he was black. Jack Leslie is best known for his time at Plymouth Argyle, but was born in Canning Town and started his footballing career at Barking FC.
He is a legendary figure for supporters of Barking FC and in the community. The Barking side with Jack Leslie won the Essex Senior cup, and West Ham Charity cup.
And now Barking FC have partnered the Campaign, and are aiming to raise £5000 towards the total target. In return, the club will receive a maquette (a smaller replica of the statue, cast in Bronze)
Barking FC Chairman Rob O’Brien said “100 years ago Jack Leslie played here at Barking as part of a diverse side, before going on to Plymouth Argyle. Our club in the East End of London has always celebrated diversity, both on the pitch and in our fan-base. Racism and prejudice have never been tolerated here, and we were upset to hear that Jack was denied his England place due to the colour of his skin”
Barking FC ﬁrst team manager Justin Gardiner, who has himself suﬀered racism in the past but never at Barking FC, said “we are proud of our legacy, and the players at the club from ﬁrst team to youth team are really diverse, we look at ability not colour”
Local MP Margaret Hodge is also backing the campaign, as reported here. The Crowdfunding target is to raise at least £100,000 to build a statue of Jack Leslie at Home Park, Plymouth. Now Barking FC, together with it’s friends and supporters, have pledged to work to help reach this goal. In return for this partnership, when reaching £3000 the club will receive a mention on the plinth of the full size statue, and then at £5000 a statuette as detailed above. To help them reach this target, you can contribute to the Crowdfunder, and mention Barking in the comments- each of those will count towards Barking’s target as well as the overall campaign.
Campaign Co-founder Greg Foxsmith said, “We have achieved a huge amount in such a short time, but that is all down to Jack Leslie’s story, and the positive way that the people of Barking and beyond have responded . We need everyone to keep telling that story and asking people and local companies and businesses to donate, and we are delighted that Barking FC is partnering with us in reaching our aims and objectives”
Last week, campaigners launched the fundraiser to build a statue outside Home Park to celebrate Jack Leslie who was picked to play for England back in 1925, but then denied his England cap when the selection committee realised he was black.
Co-founder, Matt Tiller said, “We’ve been staggered by the response as people in Plymouth and beyond react to the Jack Leslie story. More than 1200 people have already pledged donations big and small and we appreciate every single one, whatever the amount. We’ve been heartened by some of the incredible messages of support and memories of Jack The news that Plymouth City Council is pledging £20,000 too is a huge leap forward for our campaign which has captured the imagination not just locally, but nationally and globally too.“
Plymouth City Council’s Change Fund supports local projects through its partnership with Crowdfunder. Projects become eligible once a third of the target is reached and the money is only released if that target is met. The fund has pledged over £250,000 towards more than 60 projects, including the Nancy Astor statue.
Councillor Chris Penberthy, Plymouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Co-operative Development, said “I am really pleased that the Jack Leslie Campaign is working to remind the city and country of Jack Leslie’s successful professional career, and the discrimination he faced. I congratulate them on doing so well with their crowdfund appeal and am pleased to announce that as a result of this our City Change Fund has been able to match their existing fundraising with a £20,000 donation. I look forward to seeing them smash their target and being able to visit the statue of Jack Leslie once it is in place.“
The statue campaign has attracted cross-party support, from both Labour and Conservative groups on the Council, along with Independent Cllr Chaz Singh.
Since the launch last week, several high proﬁle football players and ex-players have expressed their support from the likes of Viv Anderson, England’s ﬁrst black senior team player, Gary Lineker and Carlton Cole to Plymouth Argyle Manager Ryan Lowe. Celebrities indelibly linked to the city, Dawn French and Sharron Davies, have also backed the statue appeal. The FA, too, has come on board as a sponsor pledging funds.
The Crowdfunding target is to raise at least £100,000 to build a statue of Jack Leslie outside Home Park. It will be a publicly accessible monument to acknowledge Jack’s achievements, tell the story of his success at Argyle and the England cap that never was. Plymouth Argyle, which named its new boardroom after Leslie last year, backs the plan.
Plymouth Argyle CEO, Andrew Parkinson, said “We are delighted that, through the Jack Leslie Campaign, people across the world are becoming more aware of the story of one of the club’s all-time legends. “We are extremely pleased to hear of Plymouth City Council’s funding support for the statue. In coming together to honour Jack, the city and people of Plymouth have evidenced their values and compassion, and we should be proud of that.”
The Crowdfunder runs for another five weeks.
Co-founder Greg Foxsmith said, “We have achieved a huge amount in such a short time, but that is all down to Jack Leslie’s story, and the positive way that the people of Plymouth and beyond have responded . We need everyone to keep telling that story and asking people and local companies and businesses to donate”
Shore Financial are one of the Plymouth companies that has donated to the fund. Jon Treharne said “we recognise that civic pride in the City’s achievements and great people past and present reﬂects well on us all and is part of what makes Plymouth great”
More on Jack Leslie:
Jack Leslie, a prolific goalscorer, was born in London and played for Plymouth Argyle from 1921-1934, scoring 137 goals in 401 appearances. Jack was the only professional black footballer playing in England for much of his career and was a popular figure at Argyle where he helped the team win a championship and promotion, toured South America and became club captain, probably the first black player to do so in the professional game. In his later years he worked in the “boot room” at West Ham, shining the leathers of World Cup winners.