The grave of the first black player ever to sign for Rangers has been found in France, according to a leading historian.

Walter Tull signed for Rangers in February 1917 before earning his commission as a second lieutenant in the army three months later during World War I.

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A road is named in Tull’s honour in Northampton, for whom he played the majority of football in his career. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

According to Andy Robertshaw, a leading expert in World War I, Tull is buried at the Héninel-Croisilles Road cemetery near Lille in northern France.

Tull was killed fighting in the great war and never got the chance to play for Rangers with Robertshaw’s assessment coming after studying the war diary of Tull’s unit, eyewitness accounts, historic maps and records of the Imperial War Graves Commission.

In early 1920, 14 bodies of men of the 23rd Middlesex were recovered together in a location after it withdrew on the day of Tull’s death.

The site is half a mile east of where the battalion’s headquarters at Biefvillers-lès-Bapaume had been overrun earlier in the day.

Eyewitnesses claim they saw Tull fall with the legendary soldier out in the open at the time.

“It is probable that Tull lies with his comrades in the cemetery at Croisilles with a headstone that states ‘Known unto God’ and is identified by his regiment – that would be key to him and to any soldier,” said Robertshaw [Daily Mail].

Tull signed for Rangers after the outbreak of World War I when he was stationed in Ayrshire as part of the 17th (Footballers’) Battalion of The Middlesex Regiment.

The talented star, who had played professionally with Tottenham and Northampton Town, would never get to pull on a blue jersey though and would pay the ultimate sacrifice when he was killed at the First Battle of Baupame.

Post Boxes Painted To Honour Black Britons During Black History Month
Walter Tull was officially recognised as the first black infantry officer to serve in a regular British Army regiment by the Royal Mail. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Second Lieutenant Tull would be recommended for a Military Cross when, in the winter of 1917, he led 26 men night-raid across a fast-flowing Italian river, returning without suffering a single casualty.

This news also comes after the Royal Mail postal service dedicated a special black post box to the former Army commander in Glasgow as part of black history month.

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