Black Soccer

Pawtucket Evening Times, April 19, 1895.

Gentlemen of Color: Oliver and Fred Watson, the earliest known African American soccer players in the United States

December 8, 2020


AFA, Black Soccer, Fall River, Pawtucket:

Ed Farnsworth and Brian Bunk on Oliver “Allie” Watson and Fred Watson, two brothers from Rhode Island who between them from 1894 to 1901 were the first African Americans to play in a senior soccer league, to play and score in an American Cup match, win a league championship, and play for a professional team.

Including Kearny’s Leonard Raney

Including Kearny’s Leonard Raney

February 25, 2020


Black Soccer, High School Soccer, Kearny, New Jersey:

In the fall of 1922, Leonard H. Raney played on the first-ever varsity soccer team for Kearny High School. That New Jersey town, which would later be dubbed Soccer Town, USA, had long been a soccer hotbed. It was rare for African Americans to play soccer in the 1920s, and while African-American participation in the game still lags today, Raney was a soccer pioneer.

The original photo before publication in the Spalding Guide. Image: Courtesy of Springfield College, Babson Library, Archives and Special Collections.

The Barrow School Socker Foot Ball Team

February 13, 2020


Black Soccer, High School Soccer, Massachusetts:

A look at Black players on the “Barrow School Socker Foot Ball Team,” champions of Springfield, Massachusetts’ Junior League in 1908.

Football in Central Park, c. 1915. Museum of the City of New York [X2010.11.1395]

An Early Image of Black Soccer in New York City?

February 11, 2020


Black Soccer, New York:

Does a 1915 image of a soccer match in New York’s Central Park include black players?

Heron shows of his skills for Ebony Magazine, July 1947. Image: Ebony Magazine

What Kind of Player was Gil Heron?

February 6, 2020

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Black Soccer, Profiles:

Brian Bunk on Heron’s playing style.

IN 1946 Ebony Magazine dubbed Heron the Babe Ruth of Soccer. Image: Ebony Magazine

Gil Heron

February 4, 2020


Black Soccer, Profiles:

Brian Bunk on Gil Heron, the first black professional soccer player in the United States.