He was Britains first black footballer
Arthur Wharton was his name.
Born Ghana, 1865,
his mother from royalty came.
Moved to England in 1882,
to train as a missionary, here.
He soon got bored and made his name,
in athletics with a new career.
He set a new world record,
ten seconds for the hundred yard dash.
Appearance fees and tournaments,
brought in much needed cash.
The skills he possessed brought attention,
from various football clubs.
His signing first for Preston North End,
was celebrated in many a pub.
1887, the FA cup semi finals,
against West Bromwich Albion, faces glum.
They gave it all they had to give
but lost with the score 3-1.
Racial prejudice at that time,
lost him a place in the England team.
Good enough, he was never considered,
because he was black it would seem.
He turned professional in 1889,
when he signed for Rotherham United.
Poached by Sheffield United 1894,
but by now, once were fans, weren’t excited.
As a goalkeeper he was getting old,
competing with Bill Faulke, somewhat younger.
He started to drift from club to club,
for alcohol he would now hunger.
He retired from football in 1902,
as a haulage hand down in a mine.
In 1930, he passed away,
forgotten legend of his time.
He was laid in a shabby, third class grave,
unmarked, just a shape on the floor.
Thanks to Football-United, Racism-Divides,
there’s a headstone, he’s remembered once more.