Great Britain

WATCH: Celebrities celebrate Arthur Wharton's legacy

SPORTS stars, broadcasters and other celebrities around the world have backed a campaign to celebrate Arthur Wharton's legacy.

Yesterday marked the 155th anniversary of Arthur Wharton, the first black professional footballer who lived in Darlington.

Mr Wharton played in goal for Darlington and was also involved in athletics, cricket, rugby and cycling.

He was the first ever official fastest man in the world.

Shaun Campbell, a local Darlington man, has worked tirelessly for the last 12 years to get Mr Wharton recognised, and yesterday The Arthur Wharton Foundation was officially launched with a mural of Mr Wharton.

The video above was created by the Arthur Wharton Foundation and BT Sport.

Celebrities have supported Mr Campbell and sent short videos to him supporting the 'Arthur Wharton number one' campaign to celebrate Mr Wharton's legacy.

Celebrities who have got behind Mr Campbell include, Usain Bolt, Marcus Rashford, Jay Leno, Gregory Porter, Martin Kemp and Trevor Nelson.

Yesterday Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour party, tweeted his support for the Foundation.

Mr Campbell said: "This is something we started last year, when we did one with Usain Bolt who said 'Arthur Wharton number one'. We just got more and more then people started sending then to me."

He has been sent over 155 videos from footballers, musicians, artists and other A-listers.

Mr Campbell said: "Just this morning I got three more celebrities sending them in. People are most welcome to send an 'Arthur Wharton number one' video in.

"It's still ongoing, it's an ongoing thing this is just part one."

Mr Campbell added: "The wonderful thing is, is that Arthur Wharton is number one every day not just - it's not just a celebration on his birthday. He is number one everyday."

Yesterday BT Sport filmed at the unveiling of an iconic mural of Arthur Wharton at the Foundation in Widdowfield Street.

The graffiti artwork was commissioned by BT Sport after, marketing manager, Danny Howes, contacted Mr Campbell.

Mr Wharton was born in Ghana on Saturday, October 28, 1865 – the year slavery was abolished in America – and he moved to Darlington when he was 19 to train as a Methodist preacher at Cleveland College. Instead, he embarked on a sporting career.

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