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Jack Leslie Sky Sports Feature

For Black History Month Sky Sports were keen to cover the campaign and tell Jack’s story. Reporter, Jonathan Oakes, and his team did a fine job including interviews with Plymouth Argyle‘s Frank Nouble as well as Sol Campbell and Micah Richards with fantastic images from The Box and the brilliant children of Whitchurch Primary School. The film’s a great watch…

The wonderful photos were recently unearthed by archivist Stacey Anderson at Plymouth’s new museum/art space, The Box. Incredible to see pictures of Jack in action – the glass plates nearly went in a skip.

We are privileged to be working with the Football Supporters Association which has provided a grant for educational work around Jack’s story and the statue campaign. Have a read of this great post to learn more.

Educational activities take place at The Box this half-term week with Hope FC, an incredible football team attached to the charity that encourages social inclusion, campaign cartoonist Rob Bullen and curated by committee member, Hayley Kemp.

Most importantly the film showcased some of the educational work we are doing, with Greg talking to primary schoolchildren in Devon. They were attentive, enthusiastic and asked challenging questions.

Jack Leslie in Black History Month

The Jack Leslie Campaign hit its original fundraising target and has secured enough money to ensure there will be a statue of Jack Leslie outside Home Park. However, fundraising continues, as we seek to deliver the best possible statue.

In addition to installing a statue, the aims and objectives of the campaign include telling the Jack Leslie story, and using his story to challenge prejudice and discrimination. Although we are committed to those objectives throughout the year, there is no doubt that Black History Month (October) has triggered renewed interest in Jack Leslie and the Campaign. We set out below how we are responding to that interest.

Jack Leslie-part of black history

Jack Leslie played professional football in the 1920s/30s, and for much of that time was the only black player in the league and became, we believe, the first black footballer to captain a professional team (Plymouth Argyle).

Jack was the first black footballer to be selected to play for England (1925) but then denied his opportunity to play. He really is part of black history and is one of many figures whose story should have been recognised sooner. At last people are learning about figures like Jack Leslie who were significant in their time, who sufferered injustices and were later forgotten. And, although the treatment he received by the England selection committee would not happen today, racism in football persists. These are the type of issues that our campaign reflects and challenges.

For Schools 

We are happy to engage with schools presenting the Jack Leslie story as part of an assembly, delivered remotely. 

We will have a number of competitions for school pupils throughout the month, with winning entries on our website, as follows (details of each to appear on website)

• art competition (a piece about Jack Leslie)

 • poetry competition (winners from different age categories)

• technical drawing (designing a Jack Leslie Campaign logo) 

For Businesses

We are able to present at corporate level, as a discussion platform for companies who are interested in engaging with black history month. We are booked for presentations with the Crown Prosecution Service, Environment Agency, and local businesses. Our presentations are interactive, and challenging but fun. Contact us for details!

For Football Clubs

There are still issues of discrimination and inequality throughout society and sport, from the professional level to grassroots. We are happy to engage with and present to football clubs.

For the Community

We are working on some exciting projects with The Box, Plymouth , and with the Argyle Community Trust – details to follow soon!

For Sponsors

To allow us to present the Jack Leslie story, and interact with schools and organisations, we need specific funding, and are happy to work with companies interested in sponsoring our work. Get in touch! 

For further detail, contact:

Greg Foxsmith, gregfoxmith@icloud.com 07980846330

Matt Tiller, jacklesliecampaign@gmail.com 07887616408