The Lion Who Never Roared: The Star Robbed of England Glory

“Moving, sad and uplifting. Everyone should know the legend of Jack Leslie.” –Matt Barlow, Daily Mail

“Inspiring and important. An extraordinary life story.” –Viv Anderson MBE

“An evocative and gripping portrait of a remarkable football pioneer.” –Debbie Hewitt, Chair of the FA

“A beautifully written and fitting tribute for a unfairly overlooked legend.” –Josh Widdicombe

The Lion Who Never Roared: The Star Robbed of England Glory is the incredible story of Jack Leslie, the only black player in the Football League when he was selected for his country in 1925 only to be dropped due to the colour of his skin.

Jack had an illustrious career at Plymouth Argyle with 137 goals in 400 games. He became the league’s first black captain before an eye injury forced him to retire. In his 60s he joined West Ham United … to shine the boots of World Cup winners like Bobby Moore.

Nearly a century after Jack’s heyday, research for this book helped bring recognition at last from the FA, who awarded him an honorary cap in 2023, while a campaign led to a statue that now proudly stands outside Home Park in Plymouth.

Drawing on material from the Leslie family archive, Jack’s legacy is unfurled in this heart-breaking yet inspiring biography, which includes contributions from Viv Anderson, the first black player to win a full England cap, and Sir Trevor Brooking.