BAME and #BLACKLIVESMATTER

A statue for a forgotten football hero – Greg Foxsmith quoted in The Law Society Gazette about The Jack Leslie campaign

11 November 2020

Greg Foxsmith, Associate Advocate in our Regulatory team, shared the important story of Jack Leslie, a forgotten football hero in a recent Law Society Gazette article.  The story of Jack Leslie honours the memory of a footballer whose name disappeared off a team sheet to play for England in 1925. Jack was quoted later in life stating that the selectors “must have forgot I was a coloured boy”.

 

Jack Leslie was the only black professional player in England during his time with Plymouth Argyle and should have been England’s first black international footballer but his name vanished from the team sheet due to the colour of his skin.

In the article, Greg said:

“He could have been the first black footballer to play for England. I’m amazed and appalled by the story, and even more amazed and appalled that I did not know about the story.”

“This story appeals to lawyers because it’s an injustice.”

“The campaign has taken quite a lot of time but Kingsley Napley has been enormously supportive. They put in a significant amount of money into the campaign at the start when I needed a boost.”

The campaign is not only raising awareness of this poignant story of a forgotten football hero who was not treated fairly or as an equal to other players of his time. His story acts as a reminder of how far we have come in the last 95 years and a sharp reminder how much we still have left to overcome to improve racial equality in the United Kingdom.

To donate to the campaign please visit The Jack Leslie Campaign, the money raised is to ensure Jack receives a memorial statue and the recognition he deserves.

Although the campaign has reached the target, any further donations will result in a bigger statue to remember Jack Leslie.

Further information

For further details, please see the article A statue for a forgotten football hero" in The Law Society Gazette and an earlier article about Kingsley Napley’s support for the campaign here . 

 

As a firm, we have had many discussions about Black Lives Matter and how we can make a difference to the movement. We wanted to do more than just put out a statement of support - we wanted to take substantive action to address the inequalities faced by Black people and other ethnic minorities. As part of this, we are publishing a series of blogs from our varying practice areas highlighting what we are doing, how you can make a difference and shining a light on the issues. The blog series can be found here.

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