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August 24, 2019
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BBC: England team's first Romany footballer 'deserves recognition'

London, 19.6.2014 17:01, (ROMEA)
Christo Stoičkov, Gheorghe Hagi, Andrea Pirlo, Ricardo Quaresma, Eric Cantona and others are all Romani. (COLLAGE:  Romea.cz)
Christo Stoičkov, Gheorghe Hagi, Andrea Pirlo, Ricardo Quaresma, Eric Cantona and others are all Romani. (COLLAGE: Romea.cz)

In 1895 Rabbi Howell made history as the first Romany footballer to play for England, but 119 years on the pioneering player lies buried in an unmarked grave. Now as an appeal to raise funds for a headstone begins, what is the story behind Howell's ground-breaking career and have sporting attitudes to the Romany community changed?

Howell was born in 1867 in a Gypsy camp in Dore, Sheffield.

Steven Kay, who has written a book on Howell, said: "His birth certificate suggests he was born in a tent as there were no houses at the address given.

"He must have been an itinerant at the time."

Howell's family then moved to Ecclesfield, to the north of Sheffield, where he went on to earn a living as a miner and play football with the local amateur side, playing in central defence.

VIDEO

Oliver Wright, BBC News
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Fotbal, Osobnosti, Sport



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