April 1935 and West Ham play Fairbairn House Old Boys in a benefit match to raise funds for the Barking Road based boys club.
Vic Watson captains the Hammers in what was possibly the last appearance by the record goal scorer in the clubs colours, his opposite number is Jack Leslie.
Jack was Born in Canning Town and after appearing for Barking Town joined Plymouth Argyle where he flourished scoring over 130 goals in just over 300 games for the Devon outfit. Jack in retirement came back to the East End and joined the ground staff at West Ham ending up as the boot boy, a role he held into his 80’s when John Lyall was the manager.
In 1925 Jack was informed by the Argyle Manager that he had been called up to play for England, yet when the squad was officially announced his name had then been omitted as apparently the committee that picked the England team didn’t realise he was “coloured” and did not then name him officially in the squad.
This denied Jack the honour of being the first black player to play for England.
Words and pictures by lifelong supporter Nigel Kahn
Follow Nigel on Twtter on @mywhufc