Walter Tull: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Walter Tull.

  • Walter Tull was an English footballer who played for Northampton Town and Tottenham Hotspur. He was also the first black officer in the British army and fought in World War 1.
  • He was born in Folkestone, Kent, in April, 1888 and was raised in an orphanage in East London. His grandmother was a slave on the Caribbean island of Barbados.
  • Walter Tull began playing football for the orphanage team and joined Clapton FC in 1908. He was soon named Player of the Season and won the FA Amateur Cup and London Senior Cup.
  • He was signed up by Tottenham Hotspur in 1909, at the age of 21. The team toured Argentina and Uruguay, making Tull the first black player to play in South America.
  • Supporters of the opposing team often insulted Tull because of the colour of his skin.
  • He was signed up as half-back for Northampton Town FC in 1911, and he went on to score 9 goals in 110 senior appearances before enlisting to fight in World War I.
  • Tull was promoted to sergeant and took part in the 1916 Battle of the Somme. He was sent back to England in December 1916 with trench fever.

Walter Tull

  • In 1917, he fought in Italy. He was widely recognized for his bravery, especially on one occasion where he led over 20 men across a fast flowing river at night.
  • In March, 1918, Walter Tull was shot and killed while leading an attack on the German trenches. He was recommended for a Military Cross, and was awarded the British War and Victory Medal.
  • A memorial was erected to Walter Tull at Northampton Town FC in 1999. He has been featured on a £5 coin and has been the subject of several biographies and documentaries.

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