Colouring Over the White Line: The History of Black Footballers in Britain

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Mainstream Pub., 2000 - Sports & Recreation - 208 pages
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Colouring Over the White Line details the social history of players of colour in British football. It discusses their careers in the context of the world in which they lived: the Black Diaspora as it relates to football. Yet it is a history that should not have had to be written. It records and celebrates the careers of players, some of whom achieved great things, while others were little more than journeyman footballers. However, what unites them is the consistent reponse of prejudice to the colour of their skin which forced them apart from their colleagues. It has been said by many black players that while they are proud of what they are - black men - this is secondary to who they are: footballers. And, in any civilised society the colour of a person's skin should have no bearing on how that person is perceived by others. Unfortunately we have not yeat achieved such a colour blind community. In Colouring Over the White Line we find Arthur Wharton, the fastest man in the world who was put in goal by the `best team in the world'; the Anglo-Asian brothers who were Victorian football's uncompromising hardmen; the short, beautiful and brutal life of Britain's first black soldier to be commissioned a combat officer (during the first world war); the first black international who played for Wales in 1931; the Anglo-Chinese Liverpudlian who was the first man of colour to play for England; and a South African who, after a professional career at Coventry, in Holland and Italy and a professorship at a North American University spent 12 years in prison paying his dues to a regime that puts more African-Americans in cells than in college classrooms.

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