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Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)
Jack Leslie (1901–1988)

© the artist. Photo credit: Bruce Hobbs / Art UK

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A statue of pioneering black footballer and Plymouth Argyle legend Jack Leslie, as if running on the pitch in goal celebration set atop a granite plinth. Leslie made 400 appearances for the Pilgrims between 1921 and 1934 and scored 137 goals. His achievements with Argyle led to him getting an England call up in 1925, only for that opportunity to be taken away from him when officials discovered that he was black. The statue is to commemorate Jack's story and will stand to promote diversity in the sport.
Title

Jack Leslie (1901–1988)

Date

2022

Medium

bronze & granite

Accession number

PL2_BH_S110

Acquisition method

Plymouth Supporters Matt Tiller and Greg Foxsmith initiated the campaign; funded by crowdfunding and supported by the Plymouth City Council City Change Fund

Work type

Statue

Owner

Plymouth Argyle Football Club

Custodian

Plymouth Argyle Football Club

Work status

extant

Unveiling date

7th October 2022

Access

at all times

Inscription description

plinth to front in gold lettering: JACK LESLIE; side 2 plinth: ARGYLE LEGEND / Jack Leslie was signed from Barking Town by Plymouth manager / Bob Jack in 1921. Argyle finished runners-up in the Third Division / South six times in the 1920’s, when only one team was promoted. / The Pilgrims toured South America in 1924 even beating Argentina and Uraguay in 1930. Plymouth were finally crowned champions. Jack was made club captain and led his team to fourth in Division Two, Argyles highest finish at that time. / Jack forged a partnership with Sammy Black that brought them, fame across the country and they became the fourth and first / highest scorers in Plymouth Argyle History. / An eye injury brought his glittering career to a premature / end in 1934, but with 137 goals in 400 appearances / Jack Leslie already was and remains a club legend. / with thanks to Plymouth Argyle Football Club for its unwavering support.; rear plinth: THE BOOT ROOM / Jack Leslie was born in Canning Town in 1901. When his playing career ended. Jack and his wife Lavinia briefly ran a pub in Cornwall. / They returned to East London and jack to his trade as a boilermaker. / Retirement didn’t suit Jack, so when West Ham United manager Ron / Greenwood called him up, he took his chance. For fifteen years Jack, tended the boots of the club legends including its three World Cup winners. “At the time I played it was tough, but finding out what Jack had to go / through, I’m sure it was a lot harder. It makes you a different individual / when you gave to face that” – Clyde Best / Jack was a lovely guy who would do anything for you, incredibly none of us, me Geoff Hurst or Bobby Moore included knew he was a player! Jack never mentioned it / That was how humble he was” - Sir Trevor Brooking. / With thanks to West Ham United Football Club for its support.; side 4: THE ENGLAND CALL UP / On October 5th 1924; Jack Leslie became the first / Black player to be selected for England. But within / days he was quietly dropped due to the colour of his / skin. While England drew 0-0 against Ireland on 24th / October 1925, Jack scored twice for Plymouth in a / 7-2 victory. He was never given his chance again / despite national press stating he was international class. When Viv Anderson became the first Black / Player to win a full England cap in 1978. Jack was interviewed by the Daily Mail. “Everybody in the club knew about it. The town was full of it. All them days ago it was quite a thing for a little club like Plymouth to have man called up for England. I was dead proud, but then / I was proud just to be a paid footballer. Then all of a sudden everyone stopped talking about it. / Sort of went dead quiet. Didn’t look me in the eye.” – Jack Leslie. / With thanks to the Football Association for its acknowledgement and support. Set into the ground: Plaque: Sculpture by / Andy Edwards / It was delivered by / castle Fine Arts Foundry, / Ryearch Ltd and / Matthew Montague Architects / More thank 2000 people donated / on Crowdfunder to make this / statue happen / It was supported by Plymouth City / Councils City Change Fund.; plaque 2 : The Jack Leslie Campaign / was founded in 2019 by / Greg Foxsmith and Mitt Tiller / They were joined by: (names); additional plaques bearing the names of funders

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Located at

Plymouth Argyle Football Stadium, Jack Leslie Way, Plymouth

PL2 3DQ