Episode 4: Ring The Alarm

This is the story of Black footballers in the English game. This is our sporting history, this is yours.

In episode 4 you'll find out about how Black players finally got national and international recognition by playing for England, as we learn about a group of players who survived and thrived in the 1980s. The 80s were seen as a dark period of English football, a decade characterised by images of violent, racist fans running riot across crumbling terraces. This was a period of immense change for Black footballers, as It was one which proved that Black talent was a force to be reckoned with, at home and abroad. We tell the story of Viv Anderson, the first Black player to represent England at senior level. Chelsea’s first Black player, Paul Canoville, who was racially abused by players and his own fans. Justin Fashanu, the first £1m Black footballer, and the 1st player to come out as gay. John Fashanu, the Wimbledon striker and leader of the ‘Crazy Gang’, and John Barnes, the Watford and Liverpool winger, who was the first Black player to become a regular for England, and play in a major tournament for England at the 1986 Mexico World Cup.

They are trailblazers and history makers. Players who made a place for themselves, and the Black and Mixed Race footballers who would follow them.


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