Leslie was chosen to play in England in 1925, according to the National Football Museum, but the recall was later canceled.
“There was a bit of commotion in the newspapers. People in the town [Plymouth] Very upset. No one has ever told me an official like but that must be the reason. My mom was in English but my dad was black as an “ace of spades”.
“There was no other reason to take my hat away.”
Had he played internationally, Leslie, who had a Jamaican father, would have been England’s first black soccer player.
Instead, it was Viv Anderson who earned this title in 1978 – more than half a century after Leslie first appeared.
Leslie died in 1988 after scoring 137 goals in 401 games with Argyll, who had just received a promotion to the third level of English football, between 1924 and 1931.
The campaign to build the statue has so far raised more than £ 25,000 ($ 31,000) and is supported by the English Football Association and Luke Pollard, a member of Parliament from Plymouth Sutton and Devonport.
Pollard wrote on Twitter: “Jack Leslie should have been the first black player to appear in England’s shirt but was knocked out as soon as his skin color was chosen.
“I support the campaign for a statue in #plymouth to remember one of Only1Argyle’s greatest players.”
The FA did not immediately reply to CNN’s request for comment.
The campaign hopes to put a statue outside Home Park, the Plymouth Argyle House playground. If the fundraising goal is exceeded, an educational item will be added to the campaign.
A number of well-known black soccer players have already been celebrated with sculptures in the UK, including former West Brom players Brendon Batson, Lori Cunningham and Cyril Regis.
There is also a separate statue of Cunningham, who died in a car accident in 1989 at the age of 33, near the land of Lytton Orient House in London. Cunningham made his professional debut for Orient.