Unai Emery has been offered public backing by the Arsenal hierarchy, but warned results must improve.
Emery’s position is under scrutiny after a run of just two wins from their last 10 Premier League games.
However, Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham say they have no immediate plans to make a change of manager.
“We firmly believe Unai is the right man for the job,” they told Arsenal staff at a meeting.
“We are as disappointed as everyone else with both our results and performances at this stage of the season.
“We share the frustration with our fans, Unai, players and all our staff as they are not at the level we want or expect. Things need to improve to meet our objectives for the season.
“We are all working intensively behind the scenes to turn things around and are confident we will.
“We never take our fantastic support for granted. We hope we can all stick together and get behind the team in this challenging period, as together we are stronger.”
Xhaka ‘hurt’ by hostile criticism
Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka says he has been hurt by the “extreme hostility” directed towards him from the supporters, but has promised to prove his worth.
The Switzerland midfielder has not played for the club since.
“It was very hurtful and frustrating,” Xhaka told Swiss newspaper Blick.
“I can’t understand a reaction like that even now, especially the vehemence of it and the extreme hostility directed against me.”
Xhaka was booed as he walked off the pitch as he was substituted against Palace, prompting him to cup his ear, take his shirt off and head straight down the tunnel to the dressing room.
“When my shirt number lit up on the fourth official’s panel and our own fans broke into gleeful jubilation, that hit me very hard and really upset me,” he added.
“Insulting and swearing at your own captain will cause upset and a bad atmosphere for the team you are actually supposed to be supporting; that makes no sense to me and weakens the team’s spirit.”
Arsenal manager Emery said last week that he was unsure whether the midfielder would play for the club again, adding that “he was not ready” to return for Saturday’s match at Leicester, which the Gunners lost 2-0.
Xhaka, though, says he is fully committed to the club and is ready to move on from the incident.
“I’ve been 100% behind the club and my role as a player since I came here,” he said.
“I’m proud to be playing for this big club. I’ll continue to stay positive, give my all to an even greater extent and prove that I’m an important part of this great team.
“Last week in particular was a very special, emotional experience for me but I’m doing very well again, I’ve trained well this week and am looking forward to my next assignments.”
Mick McCarthy says uncapped Tottenham teenager Troy Parrott will stay in his Republic of Ireland squad for the vital Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark.
The 17-year-old, who has played only one competitive game for Tottenham, was named in an extended squad last week.
The Republic boss revealed on Monday that Parrott will make the cut when the squad is reduced on Thursday.
“I can confirm Troy will be on the list,” McCarthy told the Football Association of Ireland website.
“I spoke to [Republic of Ireland Under-21 manager] Stephen Kenny at our monthly manager’s meeting in Abbotstown on Monday and told him that Troy and Aaron Connolly will be with the senior squad next week.”
The Republic host New Zealand in a friendly four days before the crunch 18 November contest against the Danes.
“Troy has been pushing for this step up for some time now and I look forward to seeing him on the training ground ahead of the New Zealand game. I hope he pushes me to include him in that game,” added McCarthy.
The Republic boss said he was optimistic injury doubts Darren Randolph, Glenn Whelan and Matt Doherty would all be fit after speaking to all three players.
Whelan and Doherty both had to be substituted because of injury during their clubs’ games at the weekend while keeper Randolph has missed Middlesbrough’s last three matches because of a thigh injury.
“I have been in touch with all three players and they assure me they are confident of being fit to play against Denmark,” said McCarthy
Veteran Whelan was substituted in the first half of Hearts’ Scottish League Cup semi-final defeat by Rangers on Sunday because of a hamstring issue while Doherty was forced off during Wolves’ Premier League draw against Arsenal after suffering a recurrence of a knee problem.
The Republic boss was pleased to see Robbie Brady get more game time for Burnley over the weekend after his injury problems this season while David McGoldrick was back in action in the same encounter as he helped Sheffield United clinch a 3-0 victory.
A Republic win on 18 November should be enough to secure them a spot at Euro 2020 although McCarthy’s side will need a 2-0 victory to qualify if Switzerland pick up only four points from their final two games against Georgia and Gibraltar.
Residents living in the one remaining block of flats on a north-London estate undergoing redevelopment say they are being “left to rot”, with pest infestations and security issues. They told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme how they had decided to do something about it.
“When my daughter finds the cockroaches, she tries to keep it quiet,” Annie says. “She warns me there’s a cockroach and says, ‘Mummy, don’t cry.'”
Annie first saw cockroaches in her flat two years ago. Since then, pest control officers have visited her 25 times and a number of the other residents on Barnet’s West Hendon housing estate have also complained about the pests.
The cockroaches have bitten her 10-month-old son on his eyelid and her four-year-old daughter on the arm. Annie herself developed an infection after also being bitten on the eyelid.
“At first I didn’t say anything because I was embarrassed,” she says. “I didn’t even know they could bite.”
The 28-year-old lives with her partner and two children in a one-bedroom flat on Marsh Drive. The original estate of 680 homes was built in the 1960s, for low-income families.
These properties are being demolished and replaced with a mixture of social, affordable and mainly private flats costing up to £600,000. Most of this work has been completed and new residents have moved in.
Annie’s block is the only one still standing and will remain for at least two and a half more years.
Meanwhile, Annie – an NHS administrator – cannot cook in her flat and uses only disposable cutlery, cups and plates, because she has seen cockroaches in her cupboards.
“I physically couldn’t eat here. It made me feel sick, it made me feel dirty,” she says. The family rely on takeaways and food cooked by friends and family.
Annie spends five hours a day cleaning and her GP says she is showing signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
A letter from the doctor to the council, seen by the programme, states they are “totally unacceptable living conditions”.
It concludes: “I would very much hope that you would be able to rehouse them in the immediate future as this absolutely unsuitable housing is taking its toll on this mother and children’s physical and mental health.”
After her 10th appointment with pest control, Annie went to speak to the council.
She told officials: “We can’t carry on living here. We’re not living how people should be living and we’re paying the full rent.”
Barnet Council says it has started an extensive pest-baiting programme across the estate.
The residents say drug users come into the communal areas because the security doors no longer work – the control panel has been disconnected.
It’s understood the council does not believe it is economical to repair the doors – as the estate is to be knocked down.
During filming for the Victoria Derbyshire programme, Annie gets a message from a neighbour who has been burgled that morning. They say they had seen heroin addicts on the stairway, watching them leave beforehand.
Another parent on the estate recently recorded footage of drug users semi-conscious after injecting as she left to take her children to school. One of their needles was still there when BBC News filmed on the estate.
Residents also say the communal areas on every floor fill with water every time it rains. Annie’s neighbour Simone, who sleeps in her living room, says this contributes to damp in her children’s bedroom – which has caused black mould to grow on the walls.
Barnet Homes – which provides housing on the council’s behalf – said urgent work to fix flooding in the flats was “due to start very shortly”.
More than 100 of the residents – including Annie and Simone – are on non-secure tenancies.
These week-to-week agreements can be terminated with just four weeks’ notice – some have been on them for more than 10 years.
When their flats are eventually demolished, the council says it will do its best to find these residents homes in the local area, but not on the regenerated estate.
“We have no rights. It’s, ‘Put up and shut up and be grateful for it, regardless of how you live,'” Simone says.
“They don’t care. They’re knocking this down, they don’t want to put money into it. We are social cleansing at its best.”
Earlier this year, Annie decided to do something about it.
“I’d had enough really,” she says. “I felt like I wasn’t be listened to by Barnet Council, I felt like they were telling me one thing and other people another.
“So I began knocking on every single person’s door, took their numbers, put them in a WhatsApp group and now everyone chats. It’s come together like a community now.”
The non-secure tenants have now organised themselves into a residents’ association.
“Now we’re coming together as a group, we’re now being listened to,” Simone says, “because in our last meeting over 50 people turned up and they weren’t expecting that.”
In a statement, Barnet Homes told the programme it was “extremely sorry” for the standard of some homes on Marsh Drive.
“Barnet Homes is firmly committed to ensuring any concerns are dealt with quickly, whilst also recognising that these buildings will only continue to be used for a relatively short period of time,” it added.
It said it was “addressing the problem with vermin and pest infestation, including the implementation of an extended baiting programme across the estate”.
Sheffield United claimed a stunning win over Arsenal to move into the top half of the Premier League.
Lys Mousset marked his first start for the Blades with the decisive goal in the first half, turning in Jack O’Connell’s knockdown from close range.
Arsenal’s £72m signing Nicolas Pepe had earlier skewed a golden chance wide from six yards.
Granit Xhaka forced Dean Henderson into an excellent save but the Blades closed the game out superbly for a famous win.
The victory was Sheffield United’s biggest result since their return to the Premier League as they moved up to ninth, four points clear of the relegation zone.
Defeat for Arsenal, meanwhile, means they missed the chance to move back into the top four. They are fifth, two points behind Chelsea in fourth.
Sheffield show their steel once again
Sheffield United have certainly shown plenty of grit on their return to the Premier League and have been particularly impressive in not rolling over to sides in the top six.
They battled from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Chelsea in August before pushing Liverpool close at the end of last month, only to be undone by a single goal from a mistake by Henderson.
Against Arsenal they again took the game to their opponents from the outset. David McGoldrick’s technical ability combined with Mousset’s pace posed a troubling front line for the Arsenal defence.
Chris Wilder had challenged his new-look forward line to give the Blades the cutting edge they have lacked this season and Mousset did just that, making the most of being unmarked inside the box to sweep home.
From then on, it was all about the Sheffield United defence. The hosts, incredibly, have not lost a league game when leading at half-time since 2014 and they managed the remainder of the game superbly, with their back three of O’Connell, Chris Basham and John Egan forming a formidable barrier.
“I have so much respect for Sheffield United’s back three,” BBC Radio 5 live summariser Chris Sutton said. “They have come up through the leagues together, they are well oiled and well drilled.
“It is the best defence in the Premier League this season, along with Liverpool.”
Travel sickness strikes again for Arsenal
The Gunners went into the international break in a good place in the Premier League.
They sat third after beating Bournemouth 1-0 at the Emirates, extending their home record so far this season to four wins and one draw.
But away from home Arsenal remain unconvincing.
Their only win on the road in the Premier League came in their season-opener when they beat Newcastle 1-0 but since then they have scraped draws against Watford and Manchester United and lost to Liverpool and now Sheffield United.
Arsenal have won just four of their last 17 games away from home – a statistic Gunners boss Unai Emery will need to improve quickly if they are to challenge for the top four.
Pepe fails to produce the goods
Ivory Coast winger Pepe arrived at Arsenal in the summer with a big reputation and a big price tag.
The £72m club-record signing had scored 35 goals in 74 appearances for Lille, but he has been underwhelming so far for the Gunners.
The 24-year-old had scored one goal – a penalty – in nine appearances prior to Monday’s game and should have really got his second for Arsenal but managed to miss a chance that looked considerably easier to score.
But despite that error he was arguably the best player in an admittedly under-performing Arsenal team in the first half, and it is easy to forget that it was he who started the move in his own box that led to the chance he missed.
However, Arsenal fans will understandably be expecting him to perform on a more consistent basis to justify his huge price tag.
Man of the match – John Fleck (Sheffield United)
‘There was a very clear penalty’ – what they said
Arsenal boss Unai Emery: “We deserved more. I think the first half the very clear chances were for us. Then we conceded more corners than we wanted and they scored one from a corner. There was a very clear penalty and I think VAR is for that.
“The second half the defence was more deep and had good control of the match. There was less space in the second half but we still had three or four chances. We deserved more but they are a very strong defensive team.
“We created 12 corners for us and we conceded seven or eight. They score one goal from one corner.
“We prepare for the matches the same home and away and think to win.”
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder: “We have deserved to win a tight game. We knew they would have some chances and have a lot of the ball.
“I thought we got the balance tonight. We had to put in a big performance and get a big result. The players know what is expected of them. We have to play, we have played to get into this division and we have to play to keep in the division.
“It is Arsenal, no disrespect it is not a League One team but we have managed to win a tight game at home.”
On goalscorer Lys Mousset: “Brilliant for him. He is a really popular boy. He took a bit of time to get up to speed but he had something for us that was a little bit different.”
Bramall Lane blues for Arsenal – the stats
- Arsenal have played more Premier League games at Bramall Lane without victory than they have any other ground in the competition (4 – D2 L2).
- Arsenal have lost four of their last seven Premier League away games against newly-promoted sides (W3), as many defeats as in their previous 49 matches (W33 D12 L4).
- Three of the 10 bookings for diving in the Premier League this season have been awarded by Mike Dean (30%), with no other referee issuing more than one this campaign. He gave out two cards for diving on Monday night.
- Since the start of last season, Arsenal have been shown more cards for diving than any other Premier League team (7).
- 13 of Jack O’Connell’s last 14 goal involvements in the league for Sheffield United have come at Bramall Lane, including each of his last eight (3 goals, 5 assists).
- Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson has kept 25 clean sheets in the league since the start of last season; more than any other goalkeeper in England’s top four tiers.
- Sheffield United’s Lys Mousset has scored two goals in six Premier League appearances this season (1 start, 5 sub apps), one more than he registered in 24 games for Bournemouth in 2018-19 (1 start, 23 sub apps).
Sheffield United travel to West Ham on Saturday, 26 October (15:00 BST) while Arsenal host Portuguese side Vitoria SC in the Europa League on Thursday, 24 October (20:0 BST).
A Brit Award-winning musician has been ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work for punching a bar manager and threatening to stab him during an unprovoked drunken attack.
Finley Quaye, 45, assaulted Robert Jenei outside Troubadour on the Old Brompton Road, west London, in the early hours of September 8.
Edinburgh-born Quaye, of Earls Court, London had been performing at the bar and drinking there all night.
The court heard he had offended before.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told Quaye had asked bar manager Mr Jenei to search for a female companion’s handbag after the pair left the venue at around 01:30 BST.
But after looking for the bag Mr Jenei returned to find Quaye visibly angry and making threats to security staff, before punching the victim in the face.
He then kicked a BMW belonging to security staff and shouted abuse saying “I will stab you lot in the kidney” and “I will stab you in the windpipe”.
Quaye pleaded guilty to a charge of assault at a hearing on 7 October.
His solicitor, Shahnaz Sargent, said Quaye had been given a supply of free alcohol as one of the perks of performing at the bar.
The court heard he had a string of convictions for offences including battery and public disorder dating back to 2012.
Ms Sargent said he had been attending addiction services for alcohol and drugs, adding: “He’s very sorry for the way he behaved towards Mr Jenei.”
As well as the community order, he was also ordered to pay costs and a fine totalling £525.
The singer was best known for his album Maverick A Strike in the late 1990s.
He told the judge he was not working and would be paying his fine from benefits at £15 per week.
Judge Michael Snow said: “If you go around thumping managers in the face, I don’t suppose you are going to get much work.”
Extinction Rebellion protesters on the streets of London have been labelled “uncooperative crusties” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The demonstrators – who are demanding action on climate change – should abandon their “hemp-smelling bivouacs” and stop blocking roads, the PM added.
Police have already arrested 280 people in London at the start of two weeks of protests by environmental campaigners.
Mr Johnson made the comments at a book launch on Monday evening.
“I am afraid that the security people didn’t want me to come along tonight because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters of all kinds littering the road,” he said.
“They said there was some risk that I would be egged.”
Mr Johnson added protesters could learn from former PM Margaret Thatcher, who he said had taken the issue of greenhouse gases seriously long before activists such as Greta Thunberg were born.
“I hope that when we go out from this place tonight and we are waylaid by importunate nose-ringed climate change protesters, we remind them that she was also right about greenhouse gases.”
Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in cities around the world, including Berlin, Amsterdam and Sydney.
On Monday, organisers blockaded key sites in central London, in addition to demonstrating outside government departments.
Some glued and chained themselves to roads and vehicles – those who did so outside Westminster Abbey were later removed by police.
The roads behind Downing Street were blocked throughout the day by protesters, some of whom had erected tents in the street and were sitting down and singing songs together.
Among the group were two girls, Esme, 11, and Rafi, nine, who had taken the day off school to attend the protests.
Their mother Laurie, 41, told the Press Association: “They’ve already done a spelling test this morning, sat down in the street, so we’re not wasting time.
“We’ve talked about the protests at home and the school knows where they are.”
“We’re here because we want the world to still be alive when we die,” said Rafi.
Extinction Rebellion claims protests in the capital will be five times bigger than similar events in April.
The protests are calling for urgent action on global climate and wildlife emergencies.
What is Extinction Rebellion?
2025group’s aims for zero carbon emissions
298,000followers on Facebook
1,130people arrested over April’s London protests
2018year the group was founded
Source: BBC Research
Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change.
It describes itself as an international “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”.
Extinction Rebellion was launched in 2018 and organisers say it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.
In April, the group held a large demonstration in London that brought major routes in the city to a standstill.
Manchester United and Arsenal played out a grim stalemate at Old Trafford that provided compelling evidence to illustrate just how far away from a Premier League challenge both clubs are.
In a disappointing encounter that was a pale shadow of their mighty clashes of years gone by, Scott McTominay gave Manchester United the lead at the end of an attritional first-half with a rising drive from the edge of the area.
Arsenal equalised just before the hour courtesy of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cool finish. It was originally ruled out for offside but the video assistant referee confirmed the striker had been played onside by Harry Maguire.
Goalkeeper Bernd Leno excelled for Arsenal with fine saves from Maguire and Marcus Rashford’s late free-kick, while Bukayo Saka’s goalbound shot crucially struck Victor Lindelof and flew over the top.
McTominay also headed a great chance well over from Ashley Young’s corner but neither side could force a winner.
The result takes Arsenal into the top four but Manchester United are now down in 10th after an outcome that means they have made their worst start after seven games in 30 years, failing to reach double figures for the first time since 1989-90, a season in which they finished 13th.
How times have changed
The current circumstances of both clubs was instantly demonstrated by the two captains who led out the sides.
Manchester United’s captain was 34-year-old Ashley Young, pressed into defensive service by Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s absence through injury, and Arsenal were led by Granit Xhaka, newly appointed and a divisive figure among supporters.
Young led from the front in a fashion by regularly contesting decisions, showing a remarkable knack of getting to referee Kevin Friend in an instant on numerous occasions.
Xhaka’s night will be best remembered for his contribution to United’s goal – getting away with a foul in the build-up before appearing to take evasive action as McTominay’s drive made its way into the top corner.
There was no shortage of effort but this was a scrappy mess of a game, lacking any cohesion or quality.
United will feel they had the edge on chances, although they were grateful to David de Gea for a fine double save from Saka and Matteo Guendouzi in the first half.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery will be more satisfied than counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a point but this showed just how far away both are from leaders Liverpool and reigning champions Manchester City – and just how much work they have to do to catch up.
Tough night for Pepe
It was no surprise when Arsenal’s club record £72m signing Nicholas Pepe failed to last the course, being substituted for Reiss Nelson after 72 minutes.
The 24-year-old signing from Lille had struggled desperately throughout and looks worryingly short of confidence so soon after his introduction into the Premier League.
Pepe had one clear shooting opportunity in the first half but skied his effort hopelessly into the Stretford End. He was on the periphery of the action in a laboured performance also littered with poor decision-making.
It was left to the lethal Aubameyang to provide the finishing touch for Arsenal, correctly assisted by VAR after technology showed he was clearly onside.
Solksjaer appeared to think the linesman’s raised flag made his players stop but it was clearly the correct decision as Maguire loitered yards behind his defensive colleagues.
‘It is a steep learning curve’
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “How many times have we have been 1-0 up and not got the second goal? This is a steep learning curve for us and we’ll keep working hard and, with more experience, we’ll make the right decisions.
“We didn’t get out of the blocks quick enough at the start of the second half. It felt like Arsenal were the more proactive until they scored their goal.
“I felt we could get a goal at the end and we sent men forward. I’ve been in that situation as a player when you come off and think you could’ve got more out of a game, but we’ll learn from this.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery: “I want more – more in the result and in the performance but we are progressing. We were competitive but we can do better. We can control moments with the ball better and take more chances in the box.
“We have young players who can take confidence. Bukayo [Saka] is progressing well but we need other players too. This is not the best in terms of points but one point can be good if we win next Sunday against Bournemouth.”
Man of the match – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
The best of the stats
- Manchester United’s haul of nine points after seven games is their worst tally at this stage of a top-flight season since 1989-90 (7 points).
- Arsenal are unbeaten in consecutive Premier League games at Old Trafford (D2) for the first time since January 2000.
- Arsenal (5) had more shots on target than Man Utd (4) in a Premier League game at Old Trafford for the first time since May 2009 (4-0).
- Manchester United have won 49 points from their 28 Premier League games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – two fewer than they won in their final 28 games under Jose Mourinho.
- McTominay’s goal was his first for Manchester United at Old Trafford, in his 25th home game for the club in all competitions.
- Since his Manchester United debut in February 2016, Rashford has been directly involved in 71 goals for the Red Devils in all competitions (48 goals, 23 assists), eight more than any other player.
- Saka has registered four goal involvements in just three starts for Arsenal in all competitions this season (1 goal, 3 assists).
|Jimmy Peters – The first black England rugby international|
|Date: Tuesday, 24 September Time: 18:00 BST Listen via: BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Sounds|
From his father being mauled to death by a lion, to his abandonment, to representing his country and then ultimately being banned by his sport, the life of Jimmy Peters was nothing short of remarkable.
As the first black man to play rugby union for England, between 1906 and 1908, he was a pioneer.
But Peters – known as “Darkie” by followers of the game in what were less enlightened times – was hardly a trailblazer. It was 80 years before a black player would wear the red rose again.
How did the son of a Jamaican circus showman overcome tragedy, disadvantage and prejudice to became the only black player in the first 117 years of England’s international rugby union history?
From early-life tragedy to Fegan’s Orphanage
Born in Salford in 1879, the first child of a black father and a white mother, Peters’ early life saw the family moving around with a travelling zoo, but by the time his third sibling was born in 1886, his father George – a lion tamer with Cedric’s Menagerie – had been killed by a lion while performing.
Peters was then moved to another circus to entertain as a bareback rider, but was abandoned when he broke his arm in an accident and was no longer able to perform.
Left tied to a wagon, he was found and cared for by Lord and Lady Portman, who came from one of the richest families in Britain in the late 19th Century.
The Portmans sent him to Fegan’s Orphanage in London in November 1890, where boys were taught printing, carpentry, shoemaking, tailoring and – crucially – sports.
It was there that Peters would learn the game of rugby and play matches at the nearby Blackheath FC, before leaving the orphanage in September 1898.
|2019 Rugby World Cup|
|Hosts: Japan Dates: 20 September to 2 November|
|Coverage: Full commentary on every game across BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.|
‘The organiser, the general’ – Peters’ rugby career blossoms
Peters took a job as a carpenter back in Bristol, living in St Phillip’s Marsh, where he was reunited with his family, and he soon began playing rugby for the city’s club.
“He was quite an athletic player, with a sharp, fast pass. He was a very good ball-handler,” Bristol Rugby historian Mark Hoskins told BBC Radio Bristol.
After representing Bristol 35 times over two seasons, Peters left the city in 1902 and moved to Plymouth.
“He was a half-back so nowadays we would describe him as a fly-half or a scrum-half, but those positions hadn’t been ascribed yet,” rugby historian Tom Weir said. “He was one of the smaller players on the pitch.”
Author and historian Tony Collins added: “He was seen as the fulcrum around which the teams he played in revolved. He was the organiser, the general.”
County Championship success followed with Devon in 1906, and he made his historic England debut against Scotland soon afterwards on 17 March.
Many commentators felt his call-up should have come sooner, with the Western Times saying on 5 February that year it was a “pity” he had been overlooked for a meeting with Wales and that “colour was the difficulty” in the matter and he had been “sacrificed”.
Controversy, injury and a ban
Four more caps would follow before his final England game at Ashton Gate in Bristol in 1908, against Wales, but not before reports of racism during the visit of a touring South Africa side, who were said to be unhappy to play against a black man when they faced Devon.
Peters was dropped by the Rugby Football Union for England’s match against the tourists and not even selected among the top six half-backs for the national trials just months later.
He did eventually make two further England appearances after that tour, and carried on playing for Devon and Plymouth until he badly injured his fingers in a workplace accident.
He was subsequently given a testimonial by Plymouth, but this was seen as an act of professionalism that was against the RFU’s amateur regulations at that time, so he was banned from the sport.
Peters’ injuries would prove not to be as bad as first feared, but his ban meant he was unable to return to rugby union, so he accepted an offer from rugby league team Barrow for 18 months, before joining St Helens in 1914.
But the outbreak of World War One meant Peters could not play for Saints, as he was recalled to work in Plymouth’s naval dockyard. He would eventually marry and start a family in Plymouth, being described as a “gentleman” teetotal publican who would often quote Bible passages. He died in 1954 aged 74.
It was 80 years after Peters’ final cap before another black man played for England, when Chris Oti appeared in a 9-6 win over Scotland in 1988 (he scored a hat-trick against Ireland in his next game) – something that has been described as a “lost opportunity” for English rugby.
But with England’s 31-man squad taking part in the Rugby World Cup in Japan featuring 10 players of colour, it would seem that the prejudice faced by the man they called Darkie is an issue the English game has tackled.
Listen to the full documentary with John Inverdale on BBC Radio Bristol from 18:00 BST on Tuesday, 24 September, and for up to 30 days afterwards on BBC Sounds.
Researched and produced by BBC Radio Bristol’s Tom Ryan.
James Maddison’s first league goal of the season helped Leicester come from behind to beat Tottenham in an absorbing encounter at the King Power Stadium.
Maddison drilled a superb low effort into the far corner from distance to lift Brendan Rodgers’ side back into the top four of the Premier League at the visitors’ expense.
Ricardo Pereira had put the Foxes back on level terms, moments after Spurs had been denied a second goal when Serge Aurier’s low drive was disallowed for a marginal offside call against Son Heung-min.
Harry Kane’s fourth league goal of the campaign had given Spurs the lead in the first half, the England striker slotting Son’s clever flick beyond Kasper Schmeichel despite being knocked off balance by Foxes defender Caglar Soyuncu.
Leicester thought they had opened the scoring themselves when Wilfred Ndidi scored on the rebound after Paulo Gazzaniga spilled Youri Tielemans’ effort, but the goal was ruled out for offside by the video assistant referee.
Tightest of VAR calls denies Spurs
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino accused his players of “lacking fight” after they surrendered a two-goal lead to draw with Olympiakos in the Champions League midweek.
The result mirrored their 2-2 draw with north London rivals Arsenal in their previous away league game, with Kane admitting after Wednesday’s Group B opener that Spurs had failed to learn from recent mistakes.
Pochettino made six changes to the team that started in Greece, with Hugo Lloris unavailable due to his wife giving birth and Dele Alli left out of the squad altogether. Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura and Eric Dier all had to settle for places on the bench.
Perhaps as a result, the visitors looked disjointed in the early stages and were fortunate not to fall behind when Ndidi’s effort was chalked off.
There was nothing fortunate about Kane’s opener 13 minutes later, however.
The England striker managed to latch on to Son’s back-heel and despite losing his balance under Soyuncu’s challenge, he somehow managed to knock the ball past Jonny Evans before lifting it over Schmeichel into the far corner.
Spurs thought they had doubled their lead when Aurier drilled a powerful drive into the far corner, but Son was adjudged to have been marginally offside in the build-up and the goal was chalked off.
Buoyed by that narrow decision, Leicester threw bodies forward and restored parity through Pereira, before Maddison struck with five minutes remaining to extend Spurs’ winless league run away from home to nine games.
Leicester prove top-six credentials
After watching the Foxes slip to their first defeat of the campaign at Old Trafford last weekend, Leicester fans were hopeful that their team could continue their impressive home form against a Spurs side who have looked vulnerable on their travels of late.
They had lost their last three meetings with Tottenham in the Premier League prior to today’s game, but this latest performance provided further compelling evidence that Rodgers’ team can mount a serious challenge for a top-six finish this season.
Maddison was heavily involved early on, the 22-year-old curling an effort narrowly off target from the edge of the box before firing straight at Gazzaniga from a tight angle after twisting and turning to find room for the shot.
Rodgers’ side did not let their heads drop after falling behind, with Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy both going close to equalising before Pereira’s strike midway through the second half.
Just as the game appeared destined to end in a draw, Maddison collected Hamza Choudhury’s pass before firing low into the bottom corner from a central position – all in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate.
The result was no less than Maddison and his team-mates deserve and lifts the Foxes – temporarily at least – to second in the Premier League.
Man of the match – James Maddison (Leicester)
VAR takes centre stage – the stats
- There were two goals disallowed by VAR in this match, while no other game in the Premier League in 2019-20 has had more than one chalked off.
- Tottenham have failed to win three consecutive away Premier League games when they were leading at half-time for the first time since March 2008.
- Leicester have suffered just one defeat in their last nine Premier League home games (W6 D2), after losing four in a row directly before that.
- Tottenham are without a win in their last nine away games in the Premier League (W0 D2 L7) – they last had a longer winless away run between April and December 2006 (10).
- Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira scored his third goal in 41 Premier League appearances – all three have come at the King Power Stadium.
- Tottenham striker Harry Kane has scored 14 goals in 13 games in all competitions against Leicester, four more than he has versus any other side in his professional career.
- Since the start of last season, Kane has scored 13 Premier League away goals, more than any other player in this period.
- Leicester’s James Maddison ended a run of 31 shots in the Premier League without a goal, since netting versus Huddersfield in April.
- Spurs’ Son Heung-min has been directly involved in seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances versus Leicester (4 goals, 3 assists).
‘A wonderful performance’ – what the managers said
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers on BBC Sport: “It was a wonderful performance. I thought the players were outstanding. We started the game with a great tempo, which sets the emotion in the stadium.
“It was just a case of preparing the players mentally for the second half. We had to adapt the system at half-time. The players deserve huge credit. The quality we showed was top-class against an outstanding team.”
“Some of the offside decisions – it’s fine margins. Whatever the decision, you have to adapt and keep your focus on the game. The players did that very well.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino on BBC Sport: “We dominated the game and we deserved more but that’s football. It can change quickly. We need to keep working. We have a lot of games coming and we need to be ready.
“I’m always saying that sometimes it (VAR) benefits you and sometimes it goes against you. You can’t complain afterwards. You have to accept it.
“Today, we were the better side but I hope they (Leicester) have a very good season. I admire Brendan Rodgers and wish them the best.”
Leicester travel to Luton Town in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, 24 September (19:45 BST), while Spurs visit Colchester United at the same time.
Goals from academy gradates Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal overcome a difficult test against Eintracht Frankfurt and begin their Europa League campaign with a victory.
Willock put the Gunners in front with a deflected shot in the first half before Saka smashed in his first senior goal for the club in the 85th minute.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added a third two minutes later as Arsenal ended their three-game winless run.
The Gunners had created further chances but also relied on goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to come to the aid of their fragile defence.
The Argentine produced excellent low saves to deny Filip Kostic and Andre Silva in the first half.
The second period was frantic in front of a vociferous home crowd with Arsenal’s late goals only coming after Dominik Kohr was shown a second yellow card for a cynical foul.
The Gunners, beaten finalists in last year’s Europa League, are top of the early Group F table on goal difference after Standard Liege beat Vitoria in the night’s other game.
Youngsters star in attack
Manager Unai Emery opted for a mix of youth and experience for the game in Germany, despite it arguably being Arsenal’s toughest test in Group F, and it was their young players who stood out.
Eighteen-year-old Saka, playing for the first team for the first time this season and fifth time in total, was excellent on the left flank, scoring once and setting up the other two goals.
He created Willock’s goal by beating his marker with fine skill in midfield and was the main threat for the Gunners in the first half.
The only criticism was he spurned a number of chances to increase Arsenal’s lead but he silenced those doubts with an emphatic finish from the edge of the area late on.
Willock played as the Gunners most advanced central midfielder and offered a goal threat but also linked play well, notably with a fine driving run in the second half which ended with Martin Hinteregger excellently blocking an Aubameyang shot.
The scoreline flattered Arsenal in the end but the game will be most memorable for the performance of their youngsters.
Defensive issues remain
The Gunners came into the game on the back of their disappointing 2-2 draw against Watford, after which their defensive display was heavily criticised as they spurned a two-goal lead.
Although Arsenal kept a second clean sheet of the season, they still looked uncertain at the back and allowed Eintracht 24 shots on goal – seven fewer than the Hornets’ 31 on Sunday.
Arsenal’s deeper midfielders Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira failed to control proceedings with the second half end-to-end until Kohr was dismissed.
Eintracht, who reached the semi-finals of the Europa League last season before losing on penalties to Chelsea, lost strikers Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic to West Ham and Real Madrid respectively in the summer and had either been in their line-up on Thursday, Arsenal’s slack defence may have been punished.
Kostic caused right-back Calum Chambers significant problems but was wasteful, as was AC Milan loanee Silva, who shot well wide in the second half when given another good opportunity.
That said, Martinez, brought in for first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno, impressed with key saves in the first half and assured handling when called upon.
Man of the match – Bukayo Saka
‘A dream come true’ – reaction
Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka: “I’m so happy to score for Arsenal, it’s a dream come true – I have been dreaming of this moment since I was a kid.
“I just want to keep working hard to make sure I can feel this feeling again.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery: “We knew tonight was going to be difficult, they fell back very deep and caused us problems early on.
“We recovered the ball well and the young players showed the confidence to take their chances.
“Everybody can be happy and continuing in this competition is important, so it was good to get a good win, especially away from home.”
Eintracht coach Adi Hutter: “It’s a bitter defeat for us, because the performance does not reflect that result.
“When it was still 1-0 for Arsenal, we tried to score the equaliser but then conceded another one.
“The important thing is for us to create chances, I have seen enough of those. A goal can help open some doors, give you a boost, that did not happen today.”
Aubameyang’s goal-scoring run – the best stats
- Arsenal have only lost one of their 13 group stage games in the Europa League (W10 D2), while this was their sixth consecutive clean sheet in the group stage of the competition.
- Arsenal picked up their first European away win against German opposition since November 2013 (1-0 v Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League), having failed to win on any of their previous five trips (D1 L4).
- Eintracht Frankfurt suffered their heaviest home defeat across European competitions – in what was their 74th such game on home soil.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has netted seven goals in his last seven Europa League appearances for Arsenal, with four of those coming away from home.
- Bukayo Saka is the youngest player to score for Arsenal in the Europa League/Champions League since October 2008, when Aaron Ramsey (17y 300d) netted against Fenerbahce.