Friends, family and former footballers were on hand as an English Heritage blue plaque was unveiled in honour of former Leyton Orient player Laurie Cunningham.
The plaque was unveiled today (Wednesday, August 21) at Cunningham’s former home in Lancaster Road, Stroud Green, by former Orient captain Peter Allen and Cunningham’s former West Bromwich Albion team-mate Cyrille Regis as part of English Heritage’s initiative to recognise more black and Asian figures.
Orient’s first team manager Andy Hessenthaler and assistant manager Andy Edwards were in attendance at the unveiling, as was a number of Cunningham’s Orient team-mates and colleagues including former Orient chairman Brian Winston, Allen, Terry Brisley, Peter Bennett and Phil Hoadley, while Garth Crooks of the Professional Footballers’ Association and Kick It Out’s Troy Townsend also reflected on Cunningham’s achievements.
The former O’s, West Bromwich Albion and Real Madrid star becomes only the second footballer to be awarded a blue plaque, following on from England’s World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore.
Supporters from both Leyton Orient and West Bromwich Albion were also in attendance at the unveiling, and English Heritage curatorial director, Anna Eavis, said: “Since 1866 when the blue plaques scheme was established, our idea of which figures from the past are significant has changed.
“Today we are honouring an incredibly gifted footballer who paved the way for many other black players.
“But there are many others of national importance within the black community who have not been nominated for plaques.”
“We have established this group to help get their names and stories in front of our panel and ensure that their achievements are considered for recognition.”