FIFA boss touched by Wharton statue presentation

The Northern Echo: POIGNANT MOMENT: Shaun Campbell presents the statue to FIFA president Sepp Blatter and secretary general Jerome Valcke POIGNANT MOMENT: Shaun Campbell presents the statue to FIFA president Sepp Blatter and secretary general Jerome Valcke

THE president of football’s governing body has received a statue of the world’s first black professional player, who started his career in Darlington.

Representatives from the Arthur Wharton Foundation are in Zurich, Switzerland, where they presented a statue of Wharton to FIFA president Sepp Blatter earlier this morning.

The 2.5ft solid bronze macquette statue will go on display at the organisation’s headquarters.

Shaun Campbell, who set up the Darlington-based foundation, has described FIFA’s decision to honour Wharton’s memory as a “poignant lasting tribute to his legacy”.

In an interview with BBC Tees, Mr Blatter described the presentation as “emotional”.

He said: “This is an important day, both for FIFA and for the work we are doing, together with the Arthur Wharton Foundation.

“We are working against discrimination, we want football to bring people together, so we can only compliment the foundation and its trustees, including Shaun Campbell.”

Arthur Wharton was born in Ghana and represented a number of teams after leaving Darlington, including Preston North End, Rotherham United and Sheffield United.

For more information about the foundation, visit arthurwharton.com

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