It Started With Jack

Argyle Community Trust would like to announce they will partner with the Jack Leslie Campaign to design schools programme that uses Jack’s story of discrimination to influence the mindset’s of young people, inspiring positivity and challenging racism and discriminatory views.

  • The Jack Leslie Campaign has raised over £140,000 during 2020, with the intention of building a statue of Jack, outside Home Park, Plymouth Argyle FC.
  • The Campaign organisers have a strong community focus, lending itself perfectly to an outreach programme provoking an impact on young people.
  • The programme is set to be delivered between February and July of 2021.

 February 2021 will see the lift-off of a new partnership between Argyle Community Trust and a national campaign of great significance both to the city of Plymouth and how sport and modern culture is shaped across the UK. A two-part education programme featuring a storytelling video, practical and classroom based debate and activities as well as an e-learning booklet that educates parents and guardians beyond school hours.

Jack Leslie’s granddaughter, Leslie, said ‘Grandad would be so pleased to be associated with this drive to educate children about racism and prejudice. I have never been prouder to be related to Jack’.

The Jack Leslie Campaign was set up in 2020, with the intention of raising funds to highlight Jack’s story and attribute its significance to how football is shaped in the present day, whilst also highlighting historically prevalent issues amongst communities. Jack Leslie was born in 1901 and whilst playing for Plymouth Argyle between 1921-1935 was called up to the national team but later denied an international cap due to the colour of his skin. It was another 50 years before a black footballer played for England, and started shaping the diverse representation that we now see in the present day..

Greg Foxsmith, on behalf of the Jack Leslie Foundation, said ‘when we started fundraising for a statue of Argyle legend Jack Leslie, we had no idea how positive the reaction would be to this story. We wanted to share Jack’s story, and use it to make sure that people today have more positive experiences, regardless of the colour of their skin. We are delighted to partner with the Trust to bring this story to life.’’

The partnership has also won support from the Football Supporters Association through its Fans for Diversity fund, supported by Kick it Out. The association has pledged a grant for the Jack Leslie Campaign’s educational activities.

Argyle Community Trust are proud to be associated with the campaign and have the opportunity to deliver this programme of importance to the city’s heritage. The Trust are the formal charity partner of Plymouth Argyle Football Club and have been in operation across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for over twenty-years.

Community Engagement Manager Daniel Hart spoke about the creation of this partnership, ‘when we were offered the opportunity to engage with the Jack Leslie Campaign from a Community Trust perspective we were quick to create a concept which could engage young people across the city in schools. The focus is not only on education but promoting acceptance and introducing conversations in family homes around diversity in the city of Plymouth and beyond, in relation to Jack’s story.’

 The programme will empower young people to be able to initiate conversations in their local communities and in their own homes. The aim of the initiative is to create both understanding and acceptance amongst people who live in Plymouth and beyond.

Argyle Community Trust has a clear vision, along with our national partners, to be an active, inspirational and inclusive community hub for the South West region.

For more information on the ‘It Started with Jack’ programme, please contact community@pafc.co.uk .

Name of Press Contact: Mark Lovell

Phone: 01752 562561 ext.5

Email: community@pafc.co.uk