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Event: Jack Leslie Plaque unveiled!

On Friday 19th November at 3pm, a blue plaque was unveiled at Jack Leslie’s former home at 12 Gerald Rd, Canning Town, E16. Members of the Jack Leslie Campaign attended, together with Jack’s grand-daughters and great-nephew, football historians David Gleave and Bill Hern (co-authors of “Football’s Black Pioneers”) and representatives of Newham Council including councillor Terence Paul.

The event happened thanks to the inspiration of Newham resident and campaigner Neandra Etienne, who curated the recent acclaimed exhibition “Newham’s Black Footballers through the years” (see also https://jackleslie.co.uk/news/jack-leslie-in-newham-exhibition-and-talk/)

The unveiling was shown live on the Jack Leslie Campaign facebook page and highlights are on the West Ham website here.

This plaque is be the first permanent legacy of Jack Leslie, ahead of the unveiling of the crowd-funded statue of Jack in Plymouth, scheduled for next year. https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/jack-leslie-campaign

History: Jack Leslie was born on 17th August 1901, to John Francis Leslie a sailor from Jamaica, and Ann Regler, a seamstress from Islington.

At the time of his birth the family lived at 60, Clifton Road, but later moved to 12, Gerald Road, Canning Town, which would remain the family home for many years.

Jack played football for nearby Barking FC, before signing for Plymouth Argyle in 1921, where he remained for 14 years, scoring 137 goals in 400 appearances. In 1925 he became the first black footballer to be selected to play for England, before being dropped because he was black. Full bio, story of the England call-up, and stats here: https://jackleslie.co.uk/jack/

Event: Jack Leslie in Barking-date tbc

The Jack Leslie Campaign have been invited to attend Barking FC, at a pre-match event to celebrate Jack Leslie’s Barking roots. At 1pm in the clubhouse on match-day the Campaign will tell the jack Leslie story, with an emphasis on his incredible exploits for and with Barking 100 years ago! (see note 1 below)

THIS EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE ON A MATCH DAY-(date to be confirmed)

check website or follow us on twitter for updates.

The backdrop in the Barking FC clubhouse proudly celebrates the Jack Leslie connection

The Campaign will then present Barking FC with a bronze statuette, created by artist Andy Edwards.

This event will be open to anyone to attend. Barking FC are a welcoming club, and proud of their Jack Leslie connection. Chairman Rob O’Brien says : “we are delighted to continue our partnership work with the Jack Leslie Campaign, and share their aim of telling Jack’s story, which began here in Barking. We are equally proud of our ongoing role in celebrating diversity -Barking Football Club is a club rooted in the local community, welcoming to all

After the celebration, everyone will be encouraged to stay and watch the Blues in their match (KO 3pm) –

Cartoon by Robby Bullen

Notes

1 Spoiler alert- Jack was part of a cup-winning Barking team that competed in London and Essex, but also played overseas -find out more on the day!

2 Local media coverage here: https://www.barkinganddagenhampost.co.uk/news/barking-fc-backs-jack-leslie-statue-campaign-3385612

3 Barking FC and the Jack Leslie Campaign started our partnership in July last year, see https://jackleslie.co.uk/news/barking-fc-partners-the-jack-leslie-campaign/ and Barking have supported the campaign’s crowdfunded statue campaign.

4 Follow us on twitter! @jacklesliecamp and @barkingfc

5 For media questions on this event contact here https://jackleslie.co.uk/faqs/

6 The Club and Campaign would like to see a commemorative cup game between Barking and Plymouth Argyle for the “Jack Leslie Cup”, and are looking for a business or company to sponsor that event -get in touch if interested!