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David Dabydeen

The first black British footballer in the Football League. Wharton was born in Jamestown, Accra, Gold Coast (present‐day Ghana), to a half‐Grenadian and half‐Scottish father and a Ghanaian mother. Always a gifted sportsman, he set the first world record in 1886 for the 100‐yards dash during the Amateur Athletics Association sprint. Apart from football, he was also involved in other sports such as cricket and cycling. Wharton signed up with Preston North End in 1886 as goalkeeper after being spotted while playing for Darlington While at Preston North End he played in the FA Cup semi finals one of the high points of his career Subsequently he played professionally for various football clubs such as Rotherham Town Sheffield United Stalybridge Celtic and Ashton North End At Sheffield United he played three games for the club s first team Despite his strength as a goalkeeper he could not maintain his ...


Steven J. Niven

first black soccer professional and world-record sprinter, was born in the James Town district of Accra (in present-day Ghana) on 28 October 1865. His father, the Reverend Henry Wharton, was a Methodist missionary born in Grenada of Scottish and African ancestry. His mother, Annie Florence Grant, was the daughter of a Fante royal and a Scottish trader. Arthur’s uncle, Francis Chapman Grant, was a leading business and political leader, while a cousin, George “Paa” Grant, became a prominent business leader and helped found the United Gold Coast Convention, along with Kwame Nkrumah and Edward Akuffo-Addo. Despite his relatively privileged upbringing among the Gold Coast’s mixed-race elite, Wharton’s early life was not without tragedy. Five of his eight siblings died in childhood, and his father died in 1873 shortly before Arthur s eighth birthday That same year witnessed the onset of the third Anglo Asante war which caused widespread ...