Black Footballers in Britain – Cess Pod

Ces Podd
Ces Podd

Ces Podd Arrived in Britain from the Caribbean when he was just nine years old. When he was 16 years old he had managed to get himself into a Leeds pub team, as well as playing for the church,school and his local youth club.

Ces had the idea that the more games he played the better his chances of being spotted by a talent scout. His first trial was with Wolverhampton Wanderers, but he didn’t even get to play. Disillusioned He set off for Art College in Bradford. The father of a friend, who he met there, suggested that he might get a trial for Bradford City. He went for the trial and impressed the manager enough to be asked to start training with the team. He made his debut in 1971 against Chesterfield, and won the ‘Man of the Match’ from one Newspaper. However, Ces was not ready for the amount of racial abuse that he received of fans. Name calling spitting and having Banana’s thrown at him were part of his experience.

In 1980 he was the first black footballer ever to be granted a testimonial by the F.A (Football Association).

His Testimonial attracted a then record attendance, and after writing to a number of managers in the league he put together an all black team for the match.

The team included Garth Crooks (Spurs), Luther Blisset t(Watford), Alex Williams (Man City),Vince Hilaire (Luton), Terry Connor (Leeds) and Mark Chamberlain (Stoke).

Today Ces is a coach with St.Kitts and Nevis. Although he’s back in the Caribbean black British players owe him a debt, because he and his team mates helped to break down stereotypes that black players could not compete at the top level.

2 thoughts on “Black Footballers in Britain – Cess Pod

  • 6th November 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Ces will forever be a true Bradford City legend. Fantastic footballer and a genuinely decent man. Modern day players [of all ethnicities/nationalities] could learn a lot from Ces!

  • 7th October 2013 at 6:36 am

    Like Rob M says Ces was a true legend to us city fans and still holds the record for the player to play the most games for the club. I was 15 when he made is debut and I can honestly not remember much racial abuse being hurled at him by City fans not that it may have happened but usually City fans were more likely to hurl abuse at players who we thought weren’t trying hard enough. Not something Ces could be accused of. Also at the same time we had another Black player Joe Cooke who again by his efforts and application became a firm favorite of the Bradford crowd. At that time we were one of the few UK teams to field 2 black players.


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