Cape Town - Leeds United have unveiled a plaque to
honour South African winger Albert Johanneson, who made 200 appearances
for the club between 1961 and 1969.
READ: Late Masinga to be given official provincial funeral
Johanneson was one of the earliest SA exports to Europe and he was
something of a trailblazer to others who followed in his path.
Lucas Radebe later famously joined the English giants and went on to
become a club legend, whereas the late Phil Masinga also enjoyed a
shorter spell with United.
However, the Germiston-born star, who passed away in 1995, also had
to endure a hefty amount of racial abuse during his time in England.
With that said, he let his football do the talking and managed 67 goals during his time at United.
In addition, he was the first black African to play in an FA Cup
final when he was in the Leeds side that lost to Liverpool in 1965.
Chief Executive Officer Angus Kinnear said of Johanneson: "Albert is a
massive part of the history of Leeds United Football Club.
"He was a trailblazer and paved the way for other black players to
make their mark on the sport, this is a fantastic occasion for the club
as we enter our centenary year.
"We should feel extremely proud that Albert wore the famous jersey of
Leeds United and for his part in the club's rise under the great Don
"Not only did Albert play for Leeds at a time when there was very few
black players playing professionally in the top flight of English
football, he also holds the accolade of being the first black player in
1965 to play in an FA Cup final.
"The impact of both these feats and the inspiration it would have
given to so many people should never be forgotten or underestimated.
"There is no doubt that Albert's accomplishments also played an
important role in helping to pave the way for future generations of
black footballers from across the globe to come to play in England as he
once did from South Africa, and this alone is a truly wonderful legacy.
"A blue plaque at Elland Road in recognition of Albert and all that he achieved is the least that he deserves."