Arthur Wharton was the first black professional footballer in the world. Arthur was born to two mixed-race parents. His father was half Grenadian and half Scottish, while his mother was half Scottish and part Ekumfie stool royal. He also held the world record for the 100-yard dash. When he was a teenager, he started training with local teams to earn money because his parents could not afford to pay him. One of these teams was New Cross Rangers, who later became the first team from London to win the FA Cup. New Cross Rangers played in the Southern League during the early 20th century. They were owned by the Allinson family, who were famous for their racing horses.
In 1902, when Arthur was 16 years old, he made his debut for Woolwich Arsenal in a match against Royal Albert club. The game did not have any effect on his career though, as he never earned a contract with the team. That same year, he began working as a clerk at the Royal Arsenal Gunpowder Factory. In 1904, he was invited to trial with Liverpool FC but did not earn a contract there either. That same year, he traveled to Canada to play for Montreal St. James's Park in the Canadian Football League. The team went on to win the championship that season.
After finishing with Montreal St. James's Park, Arthur returned to England and worked as a office assistant at the Royal Arsenal Gunpowder Factory.
Anderson, Viv Andrew Watson was the first black man to play international football, earning his first of three caps for Scotland on March 12, 1881, when he captained them in a 6-1 triumph away to England at The Oval in London. List of the first black players for European national teams
|Debut||29 November 1978|
Michael James Black (born October 6, 1976) is a former professional football midfielder and striker from England. He began his career in the Arsenal youth system and went on to play in the Football League for Tranmere Rovers and Southend United before descending to non-league football in 2002. After retiring as a player he became a coach.
Black was born in London but grew up in Romford, Essex. His father died when he was young and his mother struggled to make ends meet as a single parent. Despite this, he says that they always had something to eat and he felt loved and secure growing up. He admits that he was also influenced by hip hop music which was popular at the time.
He started off playing football in the street with his friends and then progressed to Romford FC. It wasn't long before he caught the eye of scouts from Arsenal who invited him to train with them. Although he didn't get into their youth team, he continued to hone his skills and within a few years he was playing in the First Division. In 1998, he made his debut for Arsenal against Wimbledon and went on to score two goals in 22 appearances during his one season with the club. The following year, he moved to Tranmere Rovers where he spent three seasons before moving back to Highbury to join newly promoted First Division side Southend United.