The Arthur Wharton Foundation has received a grant of £7,700 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to create A Light That Never Fades.
Derek Griffiths, best known for his work as a children’s television presenter, will play Wharton in the short film produced by Broken Scar Productions.
Filming is scheduled to take place later this year.
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Shaun Campbell, Director of the Arthur Wharton Foundation, said: “We are delighted to receive this fantastic support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
“We are confident that our A Light That Never Fades project will help people understand and appreciate the impact and legacy that Arthur Wharton left behind.”
Arthur Wharton was born in Jamestown, Ghana before moving to England at the age of 18.
He trained as a missionary at Cleveland College in Darlington and developed an interest in football during his time there.
His first season with Darlington FC was in 1883.
After his time there, he played for various teams and even became a professional in some other sports.
He became a cycling champion, professional cricketer and rugby player.
The film aims to explore the years following his success and how he realized the legacy he left behind.
Helen Featherstone, England North Director at the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are delighted to support the Arthur Wharton Foundation in this important project to explore and highlight the fascinating story of the world’s first black professional footballer.
“Thanks to the funds raised by National Lottery players, more people will be able to learn more about the significant impact he had on Britain’s sporting and cultural heritage.”