FURD receive funding for Arthur Wharton project
Football Unites Racism Divides has been given a £7,500 lottery grant to help develop a project exploring the extraordinary life of Arthur Wharton, the world’s first black professional footballer.
The charity has been awarded the grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to help create a documentary film, drama and art exhibition to celebrate Arthur Wharton, who spent most of his life in South Yorkshire.
The work will be made available to communities, schools and colleges to enable Wharton’s legacy to become more widely known and appreciated.
The Arthur Wharton Heritage Project will focus on the remarkable achievements of the Ghanaian-born 19th century footballer, runner, cricketer, cyclist and rugby player – who played for Sheffield United and Rotherham Town, among others, in the 1890s.
He also set the world record for the 100 yard sprint in 1886. One of Wharton’s unique traits as a goalkeeper was to catch the ball between his legs while hanging from the crossbar – a feat captured by South African artist Archie Birch.
His dramatic image is to be featured in the U-Mix young people’s facility planned for Lowfields Park in Sheffield.
FURD coordinator Howard Holmes said: “Local youngsters will be at the heart of the Arthur Wharton Heritage Project.
“We hope to bring people and groups into heritage research using filmmaking, art and drama, illustrating the great legacy Arthur Wharton has left Yorkshire, the UK and the world.”
From the Star