A Biased BBC reader sent this!
The BBC is carrying a fawning article about Arthur Wharton – see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20878659. Most people will never have heard of him, but he was apparently the first black professional footballer. He was, by many accounts, an interesting character and his story may well be deserving of a wider audience (he was also a preacher). But look how the BBC describes him: “one of the greatest ever British athletes”. Was he?
He was actually born in Ghana and of mixed background rather than being black. The BBC further tells us that he “played in goal for Darlington, Newcastle United, Sheffield United and Rotherham Town and other famous old clubs like Preston North End”. Indeed he did, but in a football career lasting 17 years he only made a total of 16 appearances, of which just 2 were with Preston North End. He did not play internationally. Nor did he win any trophies or awards.
An interesting historical anomaly, yes. But hardly a black Victorian Stanley Matthews or Bobby Charlton, much less one of the “greatest ever British athletes”. Except to the racialisers of the BBC, of course.”