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Different Class, the story of the extraordinary Laurie Cunningham, is published this week

Jul 12th, 2017

I am honoured to have played a part in Dermot Kavanagh realising his ambition to produce a biography of the late footballer and soulboy legend Laurie Cunningham.

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English Heritage plaque dedicated to the great Laurie Cunningham

Sep 22nd, 2016

//The plaque at 73 Lancaster Road. Photo: Peter Tarry//

Great news about the English heritage blue plaque dedicated yesterday at 73 Lancaster Road in north London’s Finsbury Park, one-time home of the late great footballer Laurie Cunningham.


//Dermot Kavanagh speaks at the unveiling. Among those in attendance were Cunningham’s friend Cyrille Regis, his former girlfriend Nikki Brown and members of his family. Photo: Peter Tarry//

As I’ve written here before, Cunningham’s significance extends outside of his considerable achievements as a sportsman; the first black player to represent England and be signed to an overseas club (Spain’s Real Madrid), he lived his tragically short life off the field at the cutting edge of street style and club culture.

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Laurie Cunningham: Back in the Sunday Times with a major biography and a blue plaque on the way

Mar 13th, 2016
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//Kavanagh’s piece on Cunningham in Style today//

I’m really pleased for writer/photography editor Dermot Kavanagh. His tireless championing of the late soulboy footballer Laurie Cunningham is paying off with a major piece in today’s Sunday Times’ Style magazine and news that there is to be a blue plaque marking the sportsman’s North London birthplace.

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Support the publication of important new book Different Class: Fashion, Football & Funk – The Story of Laurie Cunningham

Nov 25th, 2015

//Laurie Cunningham in bespoke suit and tie of his own design aged 17, 1973. Photo courtesy Dermot Kavanagh//

I’m not a football fan; I loved playing when I was in my 20s and 30s and as a kid followed Liverpool FC avidly but my interests have long lain elsewhere.

But there is one football book that deserves publication in my view: Dermot Kavanagh’s Different Class, which explores the life and cultural significance of Laurie Cunningham, one of England’s first professional black soccer players.

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Steps Ahead: The Laurie Cunningham project moves apace

Jul 17th, 2013

//Laurie Cunningham in bespoke suit and tie of his own design aged 17, 1973. Photo courtesy Dermot Kavanagh//

Journalist Dermot Kavanagh’s project to celebrate the life and achievements of the late soul boy footballer Laurie Cunningham moves apace; if you have the opportunity, listen to Kavanagh talking to BBC London 94.9’s Robert Elms today.
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In search of Laurie Cunningham, flamboyant footballer + north London soul boy

Nov 13th, 2012

//Laurie Cunningham aged 17, at Brisbane Road, home to Leyton Orient FC, 1973.//

In 1989, footballer Laurie Cunningham’s life was cut short by a car crash on the outskirts of Madrid. He was 33 years old.

By that time Cunningham had notched up a series of sporting firsts which resonated through the wider culture: a teenage signing to east London team Leyton Orient, Cunningham was the first black player to represent England (in 1977 as an under-21, scoring a winning goal against Scotland) and the first Englishman to play for Spanish giants Real Madrid (in 1979).

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