On May 9, Google’s regular ‘Google Doodle’ on the search engine’s homepage featured an animated tribute to former footballer Frank Soo.
Soo died in 1991 at the age of 76, and his story is forgotten by many today.
However, he was a hugely significant figure in the story of English football.
While working at the Michelin tyre company in Stoke during World War Two, Soo became the first non-white person ever to play for the England national team. He was later called up to the RAF, and captained their football side.
To this day, Soo remains the only player of East Asian heritage to represent England’s senior side. His first appearance, in 1942, came 36 years before fellow trailblazer Viv Anderson became England’s first black player.
Soo was born in Buxton, Derbyshire in 1914, and brought up in Liverpool.
His father, Our Quong-Soo, was a Chinese sailor based on Merseyside who met his eventual wife Beatrice Whittam in Manchester.
Soo played for a number of small local sides in his boyhood town and was scouted by both Everton and Liverpool, but he was signed by Stoke City in 1933 after impressing for Prescot Cables.
On November 4, 1933, Soo became the first player of Chinese descent to play in the Football League, though the game finished in a 6-1 defeat for Stoke away at Middlesbrough. Soo nevertheless did enough to keep his place in the team.
Over the following seasons, he became a regular in the Stoke side, featuring alongside the legendary Stanley Matthews and making almost 200 appearances for the club before the outbreak of war in 1939.
He was able to continue playing wartime games for the Potters during his time working at Michelin but, after being called up to the RAF, he ended up spending longer and longer spells away from the club.
Eventually, in early 1945, Soo submitted a transfer request after a breakdown in his relationship with manager Bob McGrory, who he felt had been playing him out of position.
He eventually joined Leicester and was immediately installed as captain by Tom Mather, the manager who had first signed him at Stoke.
The Foxes struggled in 1945-46, though, and Soo moved on after just one season, going on to represent Luton and Chelmsford before retiring in 1950.
In a much-travelled coaching career, Soo would manage teams as varied as Scunthorpe, Djurgarden, Padova and Norway.
He twice won promotion from the Swedish third tier, and guided Djurgarden to the Allsvenskan title in 1954-55.
In 2016, The Frank Soo Foundation was created in order to continue his legacy, with an annual five-a-side tournament held in his memory.
Two years later, a street in his spiritual home of Stoke was named after him.