Leeds nostalgia: Story of football’s first black star...

Albert Johanneson former  Leeds united player
Albert Johanneson former Leeds united player
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Albert Johanneson, pictured, was described as a “fallen soccer idol” in an interview in the YEP where he admitted he was penniless and desperately in need of a job.

The 33-year-old former left-winger for Leeds United made more than 200 league and cup appearances for the team during his career.

The story appeared in the YEP in February 1975.

Johanneson died in Leeds in September 1995 aged 55. He was arguably football’s first black star - he was the first black player to star in an FA Cup final, for Leeds United against Liverpool, at Wembley in May 1965.

He grew up under Apartheid in South Africa and despite his talent was wracked with self-doubt, eventually turning to drink, living out his days in a squalid flat, drinking cider, eating sausages and watching Hawaii Five-O on television.


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