Gil Heron

Gil Heron

Football Biography
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Gil Heron

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Gil Heron (9 April 1922 – 27 November 2008) was a Jamaican professional footballer. He was the first black player to play for Scottish club Celtic, and was the father of poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron.

He died in Detroit of a heart attack on 27 November 2008.


Born Gilbert Heron in Kingston, Jamaica,Frank Dell'Apa, Boston Globe (December 4, 2008). Retrieved June 2, 2011

He moved to Canada as a youth and was later enlisted in the Canadian Air Force. As well as being an athlete and a boxer, he played football and broke through during his stay there. A centre forward, he signed for Detroit Corinthians and the champion Detroit Wolverines, where he was top goalscorer in the 1946 season of the North American Professional Soccer League.

He was spotted by a scout from Glasgow Celtic while the club was on tour in North America, and he was signed by the Scottish club in 1951 after being invited over for a trial. Becoming the first black player for Celtic, Heron went on to score on his debut, on 18 August 1951 in a League Cup tie against Morton that Celtic won 2-0. Heron only played five first-team matches in all, scoring twice.<ref...
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