Tommy Best: Wales’ Forgotten Black Soccer Pioneer

Photos: Queens Park Rangers\Cheshire Live

Tommy Best was the first Black professional soccer player to play at the top level of the game in Ireland. He is being remembered in the U.K. which is now celebrating their Black History Month.

There was nothing particularly remarkable about the game that October afternoon.

Among the words hurriedly filed back from the Hawthorns for that evening’s late newspaper editions, there had been sparing mentions of the Bluebirds’ new signing whose shot was so hard it punctured the ball.

But that was not out of the ordinary for Tommy Best, the centre-forward with a reputation for a powerful strike.

What was different was that Tommy Best was black.

What was significant was that, on 30 October 1948, Best had become the first black player to wear a Cardiff shirt.


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