Today, The FA attended the unveiling of the Jack Leslie statue at Plymouth Argyle FC’s Home Park. Jack was a true trailblazer in our game, scoring 137 times for the club, and we were delighted to support this campaign.
In 1925, Jack earned a deserved international call up. However, he faced adversity because of the colour of his skin; he was deselected and never played for our country, so we’re delighted to award him with a posthumous honorary cap to recognise his career, his contribution to our game and wider society, and to right this historical wrong.
FA Chair Debbie Hewitt MBE said: “Jack Leslie is a true football legend who, through his own adversity, has positively shaped attitudes and behaviours to identify and remove discrimination from football. The FA is awarding Jack a posthumous honorary cap, to recognise his unique contribution and set of circumstances – and to right the historical wrong.
“I had the privilege of meeting Lesley, Jack’s granddaughter, at a recent international game at Wembley, where we had the opportunity to recognise the family’s determination, courage and resilience to have Jack’s story told and through the efforts of Lesley and her sisters Lyn and Gill, to change perceptions in football and more broadly in society.
“We have made progress in recent years to ensure that English football is more diverse and inclusive and a game for all. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Jack and to his family for comprehensively and consistently driving positive change through football. We are pleased to support this campaign and to recognise Jack’s career.”
Jack Leslie was one of a number of English football’s Black pioneers that were present or represented at Wembley Stadium on Monday 26 September. Ahead of Black History Month, we were able to pay tribute to some of the key Black figures in England’s football history at the Three Lions’ game with Germany in the UEFA Nations League. You can read more about this here.
Source: The Football Association