Lindy Delapenha and his groundbreaking career for Portsmouth

Hampshire Live did a profile on Black Jamaican-born footballer Lindy Delapenha and his time at Portsmouth FC:

One of the greatest Jamaican footballers of all-time, Delapenha is widely credited with setting the stage for large numbers of black British players to go into professional football over the following couple of decades and it was Portsmouth that first gave him that platform.

Delapenha was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica in 1927 and was a natural at many sports from a young age while growing up in the Caribbean.

A talented all-round athlete, he had the capabilities to also compete in cricket, athletics, hockey, boxing, tennis, gymnastics, golf, swimming and diving; but it would be football that he would ultimately settle on.

He had a trial at Arsenal but it didn’t work out and Delapenha found himself on the south coast where he shone for Portsmouth, helping them to back-to-back First Division titles.

Delapenha became the first Jamaican to play professional football in England and the first black overseas player when he joined Bob Jackson’s side in 1948.

Although he failed to feature too often for Pompey, making only eight appearances during his time at Fratton Park, Delapenha did enjoy a successful time on the south coast, being a part of back-to-back title wins.

Earlier this year, it was announced that the Jamaican icon will posthumously receive an English Premier League championship medal.

Lindy Delapenha paved the way for many other Jamaican footballers who made their name in England including Luther Blissett, Theodore Whitmore, Ian Goodison, David Johnson and many more.

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