Raising funds for a statue to honour the footballer denied an England cap in 1925, just because he was black.
We Did It!!!
A message from Greg and Matt
We planned this campaign last year, started early this year, and launched the Crowdfunder Appeal on 1st July with an ambitious target of raising a minimum £100k within a six week period.
Now with your help we have reached it!
Nearly 2000 people have contributed amounts from £1 and we have had hundreds of positive comments on the Crowdfunder page.
We did this without a paid fundraiser or advertising, so thank you all for donating and sharing news of the campaign. This really has been a people’s campaign and we thank you all!
We are grateful for all who have contributed their money, their gifts and prizes, their art works and their ideas – too numerous for this post but we will do a proper thank-you in due course!
We’ve had this message from Argyle Chairman, Simon Hallett, too who has been hugely supportive.
“I’d like to congratulate The Jack Leslie Campaign on reaching its goal of raising the £100,00 necessary to fund a statue of one of Argyle’s great players at Home Park. This campaign got going a few months after the Club named our boardroom in the Mayflower Grandstand after Jack, but the effort has been planned, organised and brilliantly executed solely by a group of fans. That’s important – the Club has supported the campaign but wanted it to be clear that Argyle and its fans stand together in fighting racism and recognising one of its victims. Jack was not just a great footballer. He has become a symbol of the injustices in our game and in our society. I hope that, when we have his statue up, it will become an enduring symbol of the progress we can make in fighting the evil of racism.”
Our fundraising effort has been helped massively by being hosted on the Crowdfunder platform. The team has been fantastic in providing advice and support throughout and we are delighted the project has been a success for them and us.
Rob Love CEO Crowdfunder said, “Wow. Congratulations to all involved in the Jack Leslie campaign. We are looking forward to seeing the statue go up after such an amazing amount of hard work and public generosity. This campaign is exactly what we hoped people could achieve through the Crowdfunder platform. Enabling good people to secure funding for causes and issues that bring about positive change and ultimately make our society a better place. The team has done tremendously well, and galvanised support to right history. We are pleased to be providing the platform fee free, and covering transaction charges to ensure all money donated goes direct to the cause.”
AND NOW THE NEXT CHALLENGE!
We can confirm that thanks to your generosity there will be a statue of Jack Leslie outside Home Park. But having reached our initial target with such positivity, we are encouraged to go further.
More money enables us to have a bigger, better statue.
It also allows us to begin work on our aspirations to tell the Jack Leslie story, and use his story to challenge prejudice and discrimination.
We will continue, at least in the short term, to raise money with our stretch target in place to ensure the best possible memorial to Jack. There are several offers in the pipeline and we would like to see some business and corporate support to match the generous donations made by individuals.
We will begin the process of a tender for the best possible statue design. That is the fun bit… and now it’s real! We will, of course, consult on proposals.
We will also begin preparing educational materials to ensure we can use this campaign to promote and share Jack’s story, as well as challenge prejudice and discrimination.
Keep an eye on this site, and twitter for updates
Everything we do will be guided by and consistent with the aims and objectives on our home page.
Jack played 401 games for Plymouth Argyle, scoring 137 goals, often in partnership with club legend Sammy Black.
Jack finished up, post-retirement at West Ham and many fans and former players have been supportive. The campaign have asked West Ham United for support.
Moving forward, we hope to engage with the Premier League, EFL, and all football clubs that are taking positive steps to challenge discrimination. To do this, we have secured an offer of support from the PFA, and will be doing partnership work with the FSA.
We have been kindly gifted a signed shirt by the players of Liverpool FC -which we have yet to auction or raffle. We also have a rather special bottle of whisky, and several more art-works.
Once it is safe to do so, we plan to hold some live events- and the Green Taverners have offered to host one for us at Home Park to kick that off!
When school restarts, we will be hoping to do some project work within schools – and of course aiming to have materials ready for black history month in October.
Thanks to all the volunteers who have helped us and everyone who has supported us so far. This is just the beginning of the story of the Jack Leslie statue you will have helped to build.
Livestream with Special Guests including Josh Widdicombe, Ronnie Mauge and Raffle Draw – Mon 10th Aug: 8-9pm
To celebrate (we hope!) as we approach our target and the Crowdfunder reaches it’s climax, we are hosting an online event including a raffle draw with some great prizes (especially for Plymouth Argyle fans – bringing it back home for the finale!)
Join us on our Facebook Page at 8pm on Mon 10th Aug to catch up on the campaign and hear the legend, Ronnie Mauge’s thoughts on the statue as well as his love for Plymouth Argyle and comedian and Argyle fan, Josh Widdicombe, who, like us, was at Wembley in 1996 to see Ronnie score the winner! We’ll be joined by Jack’s granddaughters too. Join us!
The fantastic raffle prizes are:
A replica ’96 shirt signed by Ronnie Mauge and Neil Warnock
A shirt signed by the current Argyle squad.
A Rob Bullen print
And 4 tickets to the Home Park dining experience (lunch on 22nd Aug if you need to check your diary!)
The England and West Ham star remembers Jack Leslie as a lovely man who quietly got on with the job of looking after his boots.
Jack Leslie was picked to play for England back in 1925, then denied his England cap when the selection committee realised he was black. The Jack Leslie Campaign wants to right this past wrong and build a statue of Jack at the ground where he was a club legend, Home Park in Plymouth.
Jack Leslie was a prolific goal scorer who was born in East London and played for Plymouth Argyle from 1921-1934, scoring 137 goals in 401 appearances. He 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 returned to East London and after retiring from his trade as a boilermaker, he was offered a job by West Ham manager Ron Greenwood. He worked in the club’s “boot room” for fifteen years shining the leathers of World Cup winners like Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. And it’s where he met the young Sir Trevor Brooking.
Sir Trevor said, “I remember Jack very well. He was a lovely guy who would do anything for you. In those days we only had two pairs of boots for the whole season, one with long studs and one with rubber studs for hard grounds. Jack looked after all of us brilliantly in a quiet, unassuming manner. The incredible thing though was that none of us – me, Geoff Hurst or Bobby Moore included – knew he was a player! Jack never mentioned it; that was how humble he was. I was amazed when I read about the campaign and heard about Jack’s history in the game. I just wish he’d told us at the time, but that was Jack and I’m only too delighted to support the campaign for a statue to be erected at Home Park in his honour.”
Trevor Brooking played 647 games for The Irons, winning two FA Cups including in 1980 when he scored the only goal. He also won 47 England Caps. Playing alongside him from 1968 to 1976 was Clyde Best, one of the first black footballers of the modern age, who scored 58 goals in 221 outings in a West Ham shirt. Like Sir Trevor, he didn’t know Jack had been a professional player, but remembers him fondly.
Clyde said, “It tells you what he was like. He never boasted or shouted out. He just did what he had to do and he did a great job, not only for myself but all the other guys at West Ham. We would call him Uncle Jack and go and pick up our boots from him when we had away trips or brought him in after a home game and he would look after everything for us. At the time I played it was tough, but finding out what Jack had to go through, I’m sure it was a lot harder. He would have been by himself, just like I was by myself and it makes you a different individual when you have to face that. I’m just glad that people have joined together to get something that he richly deserves, a statue.”
The Jack Leslie Campaign is keen to see Jack recognised in East London as well as in Plymouth and urges West Ham fans to support the campaign. In nearby Essex, Barking FC has committed to raising a significant sum to create a memorial to Jack at the club where he began his career in non-league football as a teenager. Now we hope there could be recognition at West Ham United too.
Campaign Co-Founder Matt Tiller said, ‘We are delighted to see legends of the game support the statue and it’s even more amazing to hear those memories of Jack from the likes of Sir Trevor Brooking and Clyde Best. It just makes it even more meaningful; the fact that he never boasted about his man achievements or showed bitterness at the England rejection. A memorial to Jack at West Ham and Barking as well as Plymouth Argyle, of course, would tell the full story of his life in football.”
Jack’s family are West Ham fans and had a close connection with the club during the time he worked there.
Jack Leslie’s granddaughter Lyn Davies said, “I remember going to Trevor Brooking’s testimonial, he was a real hero of ours and Jack loved working with him too, they got on really well. I can’t believe he didn’t tell him about his football career, but that was granddad. He didn’t make a big thing of his achievements but he clearly made an impression on the people he worked with at West Ham. It’s wonderful to hear such lovely memories from legends like Sir Trevor and Clyde Best.’
Campaign Co-Founder, Greg Foxsmith said, “We hope that Sir Trevor’s support will raise awareness and gain support from West Ham FC and their fans, as well as other Premier League clubs, who should unite to support this campaign and kick out racism.”
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)
The Crowdfunder part of our campaign started in the middle of lockdown , so it is with some delight, following recent relaxation of regulations, we can announce our first “live” social event! We are delighted to invite to a socially distanced gathering at the Hoop and Grapes, Farringdon, Central London to watch the FA Cup Final this saturday, 1st August. The Hoop and Grapes has remained closed since lockdown. But Landlord Mike is opening the pub especially for us, to show the FA Cup final.
Pre-booking is required (maximum 40 people)
This is a fundraising event, so there is a £10 cover charge (for the Jack Leslie Campaign) In addition, there will be a raffle to win an England top signed by Ian Wright (tickets for that also available here) Details Book places by emailing Greg Foxsmith firstname.lastname@example.org. If attending in a group (ie as a couple, a family, or a group of friends in a “bubble”) then please confirm numbers in the group. Other than groups, individual seats will comply with social distancing requirements.
4pm-pub open (For booked guests only)
5.15 welcome/update about Jack Leslie Campaign (5 mins)
-6.15 Half Time entertainment with special guest, and raffle draw
-6.30 KO 2nd half
-Post match -pub remains open for guests to stay on
*Full food menu available*
*Full range of drinks including real ales* This event is organised jointly by PASALB and the JACK LESLIE CAMPAIGN All cover charges and raffle Proceeds to the Crowdfunder
Our thanks to Landlord Mike at the Hoop and Grapes for this event, and for generously donating the shirt to the 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.