On this day, the 26th October, in 1955, two simultaneous floodlit firsts took place, the first time in British football history that two such games had been played on the same day. So perhaps it’s fitting given my fascination with floodlit football that we recap a few floodlit firsts of British football.
On Tuesday 29th March England will play Ghana at Wembley in the first meeting between the two countries. The game will honour the memory and achievements of Arthur Wharton, the World’s first black professional footballer.
Wharton was born 1865 in Jamestown, Gold Coast, current day Ghana. His father was a Methodist priest from Grenada and his mother was a member of the Fante royal house. In 1882 he left for England to train as a missionary and it was whilst at college in Darlington that his talent for sports shone through. He soon gave up his studies to become a full-time athlete.
He was a very talented individual indeed, in 1886 he became the first man to run the 100 yards dash in ten seconds and in 1887 set the fastest time for cycling between Preston and Blackburn. But it was in football that he was to make his name.