A team of only “black colored” players, playing in a British team, has not yet been seen in Premier League football, or in any league below. But back in 1979 it all happened. In the Len Cantello testimonial game at The Hawthorns.
Len Cantello himself never really made any big mark about it, it was just a funny way of doing making the testimonial a bit special. In training you set teams together, old against young, or long names against short names, or whatever. Len Cantello told the storyteller that he had a chat with his teammate Cyrille Regis about it, it all happened. The All Blacks against an The All Whites was a reality.
A number of former Leicester City players played the game. Alistair Brown played for the “All Whites”, and four former foxes appeared in the “All Blacks”. Defenders Bob Hazell and Larry May, and the two wingers Laurie Cunningham and Winston White were all in the team.
David Mills, then a player at West Bromwich Albion, is today working for Leicester City in the recrutiment area and has done so far a while, so there were a total of six former and current foxes involved.
Bob Hazell is quoted by the storyteller as he remembers the game. Black colored people did not really appear at football grounds back then, they were not really welcomed as Hazell described it. He had friends and family at the game, a really great evening for football.
As a very special game, a testimonial with some of the finest players in the country appearing in the “All Blacks” there were never anything in this game seen as racial at all and just a “gimmick” and “funny” twist to it all.
The game is now, almost 40 years after, seen in another setting and with recent abuse at grounds you start to wonder were this World is heading. The segregation of people will probably always be there, as they taunting feel they are part of a tribe, just as they imagine their life in their own mirror.
This is a totally obscure situation as no blacks are really equal and part of a “black tribe” and the same said about “whites”. The fact that some people with a certain skin color feel they are something better than others or belong to a group that is set together by skin color is totally “obsolete” and “not really part of real life”.
The fond memories of this game is still there, six foxes among those, including David Mills who by all means must be seen as one. Alistair Brown in the “All Whites” had to see the team of the “All Blacks” winning the event 3-2.
Former Stoke City and Tottenham forward scored, so did Laurie Cunningham and Ali Brown, so a bit of nostalgic “Leicester City” history, despite both players probably more known for their time at West Bromwich Albion.
To the records, we must just add, that “All Black” teams have toured UK in the old days, described in fine words by Soccer History.