Arthur Wharton (1865-1930) (8/8)

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Arthur Wharton was born in Ghana in 1865, migrating to Britain shortly before his 20th birthday. Originally intending to train as a Methodist missionary, Wharton soon discarded this way of life in order to pursue his true ambition: sports. Cycling, cricketeering, athletics and most memorably football: Wharton boasted a legendary career in sports, having achieved the world record for the 100-yard sprint in 1886. 

History remembers Arthur as the first recorded professional black footballer, having played in a team that reached the FA cup semi-finals in the late 19th century. He played for a number of senior clubs, including Sheffield United, Darlington, and Stockport. In the last twenty years, several statues have been commissioned in order to commemorate Arthur and his contribution to the sport, particularly for his notable achievement of being the first black man to play in the highest flight of football. 

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