Black History Month – 5TH October 2012
Barbados and Friends Association (Reading) - paid tribute to footballing hero and local lad, Andy Alleyne who passed away earlier this year; Reading football club historian David Downes gave a glowing review of Andy’s time at the club; outlining some of the trials and tribulations he experienced being a footballer in 1970’s Britain.
Phil Vasili discussed and presented a documentary on the life and times of Walter Tull, a man who through adversity managed to forge two careers; both with distinction. Tull signed for Tottenham Hotspur in 1909, he made his debut for Tottenham against Sunderland, making him the second mixed heritage player to play in the top division after goalkeeper Arthur Wharton of Darlington.
He only made 10 first-team appearances, scoring twice, before he was dropped to the reserves; appears to be as a result the racial abuse he received from opposing fans, particularly at Bristol City. Further appearances in the first team (20 in total with four goals) were recorded before Tull was bought by Herbert Chapman's Northampton Town on 17 October 1911.
When war broke out Tull enlisted in the army, in December 1914, the first Northampton Town player to do so. It was reported in the Glasgow Evening Times in 1940, in an article about Tull being the first black infantry officer in the British Army that he had signed to play for Rangers once the war was over, but sadly, Walters life was taken on the battle fields of France.
The legendary – Mighty Gabby (Cultural Ambassador for Barbados), performed some of the songs that has made him a worldwide phenomenon; he created a (on the spot) tribute to Walter Tull, he entertained and amused the crowd with his wit, insights and harmonies.
The event was attended by over 60 guests, including theright honorable Mr. Hugh Anthony Arthur – The Barbados High Commissioner, who were all appreciative of the entire evening which concluded with refreshments including sweetbread and a chance to discuss the evening.
Barbados and Friends Association (Reading)
Corporate Communications, Ground Floor South ,
Tel: 07889 641600 - Chair person
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