Holloway author writing a book about Laurie Cunningham, the David Beckham of his era

Dermot Kavanagh pictured last year at Different Class: his Laurie Cunningham exhibition in Park Thea

Dermot Kavanagh pictured last year at Different Class: his Laurie Cunningham exhibition in Park Theatre, Finsbury Park. Picture: Peter Tarry - Credit: PETER TARRY

Football fans have the chance to ensure the story of one of England’s most historic players is finally told.

Dermot Kavanagh, 50, is currently writing Different Class, the biography of winger Laurie Cunningham.

Born in Brookside Place, Archway, in 1956, Cunningham grew up in Lancaster Road, Finsbury Park.

After moving from Leyton Orient to West Bromich Albion, he was the first black player to represent England at under-21 level - at a time when racism poisoned the terraces.

A style icon, now seen by many as the David Beckham of his era, Cunningham also became the first Englishman to play for Real Madrid. He died in a car crash in 1989, aged 33,


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Mr Kavanagh, of Axminster Road, Holloway, thinks Cunningham remains a “forgotten hero”.

He is appealing for fans to help publish his story by making pledges, from £10, to buy the book on funding website Unbound.

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Mr Kavanagh, who last year ran a Cunningham exhibition in Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, is aiming for a spring 2017 release to mark 40 years since his under-21 debut.

He said: “It’s been fascinating, particularly speaking to people who he went to school with and played football with as a teenager. It puts together a picture of Islington, and London, at that time.”

Mr Kavanagh is also due to interview Cunningham’s widow, Sylvia, and son, Sergio, in Madrid.

To make a pledge, visit unbound.co.uk/books/laurie-cunningham

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