‘To celebrate Black History Month, we created a film about former Plymouth Argyle football player Jack Leslie for The Box Plymouth. Now part of the Media Lab installation, the film charts the player’s time at Plymouth Argyle.
Celebrating an Illustrious Career
Jack Leslie played for Argyle from 1921 until 1935, scoring 137 goals in an illustrious career. He was Plymouth Argyle’s first black footballer and could have been England’s. In 1925 his name made the national team list. Argyle’s manager informed Jack to expect a call up but controversially that call never came. It’s widely believed his name was removed from the team list when the FA realised he was black.
Our film features an interview with Viv Anderson, England’s first black footballer who’s appearance on the national team happened over fifty years later in 1978. He recalls the legendary Jack Leslie, Plymouth Argyle’s fourth highest goal scorer of all time. Fantastic early photographs of Jack Leslie in action were discovered in The Box archives and added to the film. We also featured Matt Tiller one of the organisers of the Jack Leslie Campaign (see below).
Tributes to Jack Leslie
The film celebrates Leslie’s contribution to the club’s success and Plymouth’s history. It’s one of a number of tributes in the last year. In December 2019, the boardroom at the newly redeveloped Mayflower Grandstand at Plymouth Argyle’s ground Home Park was named in Leslie’s honour. Then early in 2020 the Jack Leslie Campaign was set up, with the aim of building a statue of Leslie outside Home Park. Crowd-funding for the project raised the £100,000 needed for the statue by August 2020.
Finally, on 18 June 2020, following the George Floyd protests in the United Kingdom and a petition signed by over 500 people, Plymouth City Council proposed to rename Sir John Hawkins Square in the City Centre to the ‘Jack Leslie Square’.
The film is available to watch at The Media Lab at The Box as part of its installation. To find out more about our work for The Box and other clients please visit our video production page.