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Pioneering black boxer Bill Richmond honoured

REVEALED: Richie Rambo Mansende and Richard Riakporhe unveil the plaque

THE LIFE and career of pioneering black boxer Bill Richmond (1763-1829) was honoured by the unveiling of a BBC History plaque at the Tom Cribb pub in Panton Street, London on September 14.

The plaque was unveiled by upcoming professional cruiserweight boxer Richard Riakporhe and amateur welterweight prospect Richie Rambo Mansende.

The ceremony was filmed by the BBC as part of their upcoming TV series A Black History of Britain. The writer and presenter of the programme historian David Olusoga was among the guests in attendance, along with renowned actor Hugh Quarshie and boxing manager and promoter Ambrose Mendy.

Richmond’s biographer, Luke G. Williams, who delivered a speech at the event, said: “Most people have never heard of Bill Richmond, yet before Muhammad Ali, before Jesse Owens and before Jack Johnson, Richmond was the first sports star of African heritage.

“Given that he spent the last night of his life on the premises of what is now the Tom Cribb pub, it is highly appropriate that London’s leading pugilistic public house is now the permanent residence for a splendid memorial to Richmond’s remarkable life. Nearly 200 years since his death, Richmond is, at last, gaining the widespread recognition his remarkable life and career have long deserved.”

The inscription on the plaque reads: BILL RICHMOND: Freed Slave, Boxer, Entrepreneur Spent the last evening of his life here with his friend Tom Cribb 27 Dec 1829

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