Laurie Cunningham honoured with blue plaque

PFA member and football legend Laurie Cunningham has been honoured by English Heritage with a blue plaque at his childhood home.

The plaque will mark the pioneering footballer’s childhood home in Stroud Green, north London, where he lived when he was first spotted by a Leyton Orient scout before making his professional footballing debut with the team in 1974.

Laurie Cunningham honoured with blue plaque

Born in 1956 to first-generation immigrants from Jamaica, Cunningham became the first black footballer to play for England in a competitive international match.

He was scouted by Leyton Orient when he was 18. He played there for three years before joining West Bromwich Albion.

It was his time under Ron Atkinson’s side that he became a star. Uniquely for the time, the team had three black regular first-team players: Cunningham, Cyrille Regis and Brendan Batson (now a PFA Trustee). The club were widely regarded one of the most exciting teams in the top division at the time.

Cunningham then went on to become the first Englishman to play for Real Madrid when they signed him from WBA for £950,000.

PFA Head of Equalities, Simone Pound and PFA Trustee, Garth Crooks attended the unveiling on behalf of the union.