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Tottenham Hotspur's Ledley King opens Walter Tull exhibition in Folkestone

ByMolly Mileham-Chappell

A former professional footballer who devoted his career to Tottenham Hotspur has opened an exhibition in Folkestone about one of Britain's war heroes and first black footballers.

Spurs Club Ambassador Ledley King opened Walter Tull: His Life and Legacy at Folkestone Museum last week.

He met with young sports fans from the town and took questions from them about his time at Spurs and England.

Left to right: Ed Finlayson (Walter’s Nephew), Cllr Ann Berry, Duncan Finlayson (Walter’s Nephew), Ledley King (former Tottenham and England Player), Phil Vasili (Author and Biographer), Rita Humphries (Walter’s Granddaughter), Charles Humphries, Iona Finlayson (Walter’s Niece), Sally Hough, Jen Buchman (4522757)
Left to right: Ed Finlayson (Walter’s Nephew), Cllr Ann Berry, Duncan Finlayson (Walter’s Nephew), Ledley King (former Tottenham and England Player), Phil Vasili (Author and Biographer), Rita Humphries (Walter’s Granddaughter), Charles Humphries, Iona Finlayson (Walter’s Niece), Sally Hough, Jen Buchman (4522757)

The exhibition, which is open until Thursday, January 31 2019, features letters, photographs and artefacts from Tull’s childhood growing up in Folkestone, his time at an orphanage in Bethnal Green and his footballing and military careers.

The opening coincides with the centenary of Walter’s death, Black History Month and the centenary of the end of the First World War.

After making his mark as a talented local footballer, Tull went on to become one of Britain’s first professional players from a black heritage.

He played first for Clapton FC before being signed by Tottenham Hotspur and later transferring to Northampton Town.

When the First World War broke out, Tull enlisted in the Footballers’ Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment and became the first black combat officer in the British Army.

He was mentioned in despatches and recommended for the Military Cross for his bravery in the face of enemy fire.

Sporting hero from the First World War - Walter Tull (1277651)
Sporting hero from the First World War - Walter Tull (1277651)

He died during the Battle of the Somme on March 25, 1918.

Mr King said: "It’s important to remember Walter Tull and educate the next generation about his incredible story.

"I am honoured to have opened this exhibition and have enjoyed observing the artefacts and learning more about his story."

All items for Walter Tull: His Life and Legacy have been loaned from the Finlayson Family Archive, the Children's Home and Orphanage, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and the National Army Museum.

For more information visit www.folkestonemuseum.co.uk

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