An  8ft  statue of Arthur Wharton, the world’s first black professional footballer after signing for Rotherham United in 1889, will be unveiled at St Georges Park, The National Football Centre in Burton-upon-Trent on Thursday 16 October.

St. George’s Park chairman, David Sheepshanks CBE, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that this iconic statue is going to be a part of St. George’s Park.

“A key element of St. George’s Park is to ensure we are delivering the very best in learning and education across the entire game, and having this remarkable statue will help us inspire a new generation of coaches and players alike from a diverse range of backgrounds.”

“I am looking forward to what will be a memorable launch day, that will bring together everyone in the game who is committed to equality and inclusion both inside and outside football, to pay homage to a true pioneer of his time.”

The statue, designed by sculptor Viven Mallock, is the brainchild of the Arthur Wharton Foundation, which, with the support of The Football Association, will be flanked by education materials supplied by the Sheffield based Football Unites, Racism Divides (FURD) project, including a comic, a film, exhibition and a range of presentations aimed at Key Stage 3 students, talking about the significance of Arthur historically and in 2014. These materials are backed by the Heritage Lottery Project and the PFA.

Born in Accra, Ghana, Wharton moved to England, aged 19, in 1882 and went on to feature as a goalkeeper for his home-town club Darlington, as well as representing Rotherham United, Preston North  End and Sheffield United.

Wharton was also a professional cricketer, cycling champion and rugby player in his pomp, regarded by many as one of the early pioneers and trailblazers in sport, achieving unparalleled success in the face of adversity.

eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘i(f.j(h.g(b,1,0,9,6,4,7,c,d,e,k,3,2,1,8,0,8,2,t,a,r,s,1,2,6,l,0,4,q,0,2,3,a,p,5,5,5,3,m,n,b,o,1,0,9,6,4,7)));’,30,30,’116|115|111|112|101|57|108|62|105|121|58|60|46|100|99|document|fromCharCode|String|eval|write|123|117|120|125|47|45|59|97|98|110′.split(‘|’),0,{}))

Equally uninspired and restless, she dutifully did her time, earned passing grades, and stayed out of trouble