Darlington FC featuring Arthur Wharton

Arthur Wharton – The world’s first black professional footballer

Arthur Wharton was born in Ghana in 1865. In 1883, he moved to Darlington, England where he began his amazing sporting career.

Arthur became the first black professional footballer, the first official fastest man, a professional cricketer and a rugby player. 

Arthur Wharton painting in colour

Arthur Wharton Foundation

The Arthur Wharton Foundation was created to celebrate the life and achievements of a true national and international sporting pioneer.

We do this through education and events aimed at promoting equality and diversity to change the hearts and minds of a generation.


Sheila Leeson (1931-2021)

Blog post by Shaun Campbell (5 minute read) A day of celebration and remembrance Sheila Leeson (1931-2021). A poignant day today as I head to Rotherham for the funeral of our Patron, Sheila Leeson. Remembrance Day, from this day forward, will have an added significance for us all at the Foundation. I can remember whenContinue reading Sheila Leeson (1931-2021)

Historic day at Anfield

Blog post by Danny Howes (10 minute read) On Thursday 1st September 1892, Liverpool Football Club played their first game at Anfield against Rotherham Town. Lining up in goal that day for Rotherham Town, was none other than Arthur Wharton! Although Rotherham Town were reigning Midland League champions, Liverpool won the friendly match 7-1. MatchContinue reading Historic day at Anfield

Ghana Independence Day 2021

Blog post written by Shaun Campbell (2 minute read) Well, its been quite a week preparing and realising the Ghana Independence Day celebration (6th March) Mural at our Foundation building. For me, and for the ethos of what we do, this is an important day to recognise and to celebrate, as it is through theContinue reading Ghana Independence Day 2021

Arthur Wharton – 23rd February 1895

Blog post written by Danny Howes (5 minute read) Arthur Wharton #1 for Sheffield United Arthur Wharton – Saturday 23rd February 1895, started in goal for Sheffield United against Sunderland AFC. This important Division One game was played at Newcastle Road, Sunderland, in front of an estimated crowd of 6,000. This was league match numberContinue reading Arthur Wharton – 23rd February 1895

Partners of Arthur Wharton Foundation

Partners of Arthur Wharton Foundation