Page last updated at 22:10 GMT, Monday, 16 April 2007 23:10 UK

Statue campaign for black pioneer

Walter Tull
Walter Tull was killed on the Western Front in 1918

Campaigners are calling for a statue to be erected in honour of one of Kent's pioneering inhabitants.

They want a memorial on the White Cliffs of Dover as a tribute to Walter Tull, who was killed in World War I.

Mr Tull, who was born in Folkestone, in 1888, was the first black person to be made a British combat officer in 1917.

He was also one of England's first black professional footballers, playing for Tottenham Hotspur and making 110 appearances for Northampton Town.

Campaigners want the statue to be erected on the cliffs because of its significance to soldiers returning from the battle fields in Europe.

'Mould-breaker'

Mike Webb from the Dover War Memorial Project has given his support to the campaign.

He said: "To me it seems a wonderful idea. A very special man, an absolute mould-breaker because of his background."

Eddie Capone, of the West Indian Ex-Servicemen's Association, said: "It couldn't come soon enough.

"It is something I think would be very beneficial, not just to the wider community, but very beneficial to the black community."

A memorial to Mr Tull was unveiled outside Northampton Town's football ground in 1998.



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