A snippet from a research paper on football in the UK…
Tony Witter was not the first black player to wear the Millwall shirt. That particular honour belongs to Frank Peterson who made his debut on the 21st December 1968. While Peterson never really made an impact, two black players who followed him did, namely Phil Walker and Trevor Lee. Walker and Lee made their debut on the 4th December 1975 and throughout the seventies – when the association between Millwall and hooliganism and right-wing politics were at their height – they reigned supreme. Walker was a midfielder with speed, skill and application. More than anything Millwall fans admired unflinching commitment and passion echoing the wider uncompromising male cultures of working-class dockland. During this time the archetypal representation of this was a Harry Cripps, a blond haired Londoner who came to personify the values of Millwall. Walker and Cripps, while ‘racial opposites’, were galvanised from the same footballing mould and loved with equal passion from the Millwall faithful.
Race, Nation and identity in Football
This paper was written by Les Back, Tim Crabbe and John Solomos of the ‘Cultures of Racism in Football’ research project based at Goldsmiths College, London, in 1998.