A children's television presenter is set to play Darlington FC hero Arthur Wharton in an upcoming film about the world's first black professional footballer.

The Arthur Wharton Foundation has been given a £7,700 grant by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to create "A Light That Never Fades".

Derek Griffiths, best known for his work as a children's television presenter, will play Wharton in the short film being produced by Broken Scar Productions.

The filming is set to take place later this year.

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Shaun Campbell, Director of the Arthur Wharton Foundation, said: “We are pleased to get this fantastic support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Northern Echo:

"We are sure our project “A Light That Never Fades” will help people understand and appreciate the impact and legacy that Arthur Wharton left behind.”

Arthur Wharton was born in Jamestown Ghana before moving to England when he was 18 years old.

He trained to become a missionary at Cleveland College in Darlington and during his time there he developed an interest in football.

The Northern Echo:

His first season at Darlington FC was in 1883.

After his time there he went on to play for a number of teams and he even became professional in a number of other sports.

The Northern Echo: Arthur Wharton Foundation

He became a cycling champion, a professional cricketer and a rugby player.

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The film aims to explore the years that followed his success and how he came to see the legacy he left behind.

Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “We’re delighted to support The Arthur Wharton Foundation with this important project to explore and highlight the fascinating story of the world’s first black professional footballer.

"Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, more people will be able to learn about the significant impact he had on the UK’s sporting and cultural heritage."