The Walter Tull Champions Cup© 2015
The Walter Tull Champions Cup Football Tournament is an FA endorsed youth competition for under 16’s. In October 2015 it had 8 champion winning teams from across the capital competing. The defending 2014 champions were Actual Soccer from West London, winners of the 2013-14 Harrow Youth League.
The 2015 event took place during half term school holidays and was run in partnership with Santley Athletic FC – the eventual winners of the tournament.
The teams participating were all from the Greater London area:
- Carlshalton Athletic FC
- London United
- Hounslow All Stars
- Actual Soccer
- North London FA
- Broomwood FC
- Santley Athletic
The Nubian Jak Community Trust launched the Walter Tull Champions Cup U16s Football Tournament in October 2014 as part of the African and Caribbean Commonwealth War Memorial initiative and the Centenary Commemorations for WW1. The month of October was chosen not only for its significance to African and Caribbean remembrances in the UK, but because the pioneering Walter Tull achieved a number of firsts during this particular month:
October 1908 Walter Tull plays his first game for Clapton Rovers – it is here that he becomes the first “Black” footballer to win a senior football medal – 3 in total.
October 1909 Tull signs for Tottenham Hotspur and is the first Black player to score in England’s Premier Division. He is also the first Black professional outfield player in the UK. (Arthur Wharton – the Preston Northend goal keeper – was the first Black player).
October 1909 Tull is the first professional football player to be dropped due to racial abuse from fans.
October 1911 He is signed by legendary manager Herbert Chapman for Northampton Town.
October 1916Tull is the first Black British born soldier to serve in the Battle of the Somme. He is promoted to Army officer, and is later recommended for a Military Cross for Bravery.
“I was out playing football on Hackney Marshes and a scout was there from Clapton Football club. He saw me playing and thinks I should have a trial with them. It’s great to think I will be part of a team. ” Walter Tull August 1908
“What a season we have had. We’ve won the London Senior Cup, London County Amateur Cup, and now the Amateur Cup.” Walter Tull April 1909 – weeks before being signed by Tottenham Hotspur
“Dear Nubian Jak,
I wish every Londoner knew the story of Walter Tull, who overcame prejudice to become the first black professional footballer for Spurs in 1909. It was Tull who defied the 1914 manual of military law (which specifically prevented negroes or mulattoes from becoming officers) by being commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in May 1917 after having served throughout the battle of the Somme and four other key battles. He was mentioned in dispatches for his gallantry in Italy and he was recommended for an MC before he died in that terrible spring offensive in 1918. His body was never recovered, but it is right that we should remember him…he was one of many thousands who fought and died for their country”
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London 2008 – 2016