Retro Snapshot: ‘Darkie’ – Aston Villa’s Casually Racist 1950s Mascot

Chris Wright

18th, August 2011

12 Comments

By Chris Wright

This photo just landed in Pies’ inbox and we felt we had to share it…

What we have here is an image of Aston Villa’s matchday mascot throughout the early 1950s – ‘Darkie’ to his friends (and his tailor) – who is, unmistakably, a white fellow ‘blacked-up’ to look like a gollywog, minstrel or some such other casually racist stereotype that used to fly back then.

Before any of you make the inevitable quip – yes, this was a long long time before Ron Atkinson took over at Villa Park.

Of course, it’s be nice to sit back and contently sigh about ‘how times have changed’ though, sadly, we can’t help but feel that certain players around the world would still beg to differ.

Thanks to Pies fan Dingleberry (yep, he actually asked to be credited as that!) for sending us the pic.

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Posted in Aston Villa, Retro

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12 Comments

  1. pompeylad says:

    “Mascot”

  2. C says:

    “Casually racist”

    Sounds so wrong and funny at the same time.

  3. Nick Griffin says:

    uhhh, those were the days

  4. AGB says:

    Look in the crowd. How many faces can you see that aren’t white? May explain why they all thought it was just a bit of harmless fun in those days.

  5. Petty Pete says:

    Casually racist such as pretending that Luka Modric thinks and writes like Borat? Simply because he is from Eastern Europe? Yes, thank goodness all that casual racism is behind us.

  6. Solihull United says:

    fuckin villa. everytime i think they’re at rock bottom they prove me wrong

  7. Montesquieu says:

    I’m sure the BNP laments the end of those days…

  8. OBNH says:

    As stated on the bloody picture… did you ask permission before publishing this?

  9. Phil K says:

    So much pedestal posturing….
    Look for chrissakes – it was 50 plus years ago. Give it and effing rest for Gods sake.
    A simpler time, a more racist time of course it bloody was. Kids were still going down the mines then, albeit mid teens.
    There was a lot wrong with the 50s – theres even more wrong NOW. There’ll be a time no doubt in 50 years when people look back to now and sneer at the things the pedestal lecturers here are saying.
    It was a product of it’s time, and should be looked at as such.

  10. Ha says:

    Look in the crowd now an see how many black faces mixed or Asian an then send him out in 2013.or even better dress John terry up an send him out!!

  11. jim marshall says:

    second player in picture is the great danny blanchflower who moved to spurs and captained the double winning side of 1962-62,also famous for being the first shredded wheat advert by a sportsman!

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