TEAM JAMAICA 1976....Standing L to R. Joe Coley (Negus Utd.). Don Iman Davis (Victory FC), Val Heron (Uncommitted), Glen Campbell (Tafari FC), Leonard 'Kilroy' Taylor (Tafari FC), Vivian 'Crackie' Thompson (Menelik Utd). Stooping L to R: Kurt Nedricks (Tafari FC), Arnold 'Chico' Richards (Tafari FC), Mickey Phillips (Tafari FC) Terrence 'English' Whall (Tafari FC), Keith (Uncommitted) Ian Phillips, Goalkeeper- Tafari FC)
Standing L to R: Lester Solney (Coach-Poland), Don Davis (captain- Jamaica), Neville Gordon (Jamaica), Calvin Smith (Jamaica), Marko (Yugoslavia), Smith (Panama), Kenny Saki (Ghana), Marcellos Bouillot (Bolivia). Stooping L to R. Courtney Brown (Jamaica), Everton Issacs (Jamaica) Tony Pascente (goal keeper-Italian) , Vaughn Scanterbury (Trinidad), Joe (Italy), John Russo (Italy)
HAITI’s first match pitted the small Caribbean island taking on the might of Europe (Italy). Italy were winners of the second World Cup played in 1934 and runners-up in the 1970 Finals against the thePele led Brazilian champion team. HAITI on paper were no match for the experienced Italians. Likewise on paper, Haile Selassie was no match for Mussolini.
The game of football gained instant appeal wherever it was played including the Caribbean where British soldiers and settlers introduced the sport as recreational play. Interestingly, organized sport and its diffusion into the Caribbean were never accompanied by the culture of professionalism or business/ industry; barring the ‘sport of kings’.
RENDEZVOUS in KINGSTON NATIONAL STADIUM
I MAN entered the National Stadium through the player gate...as Neville Oxford…the 'captain' of the Jamaican Masters team determined who would enter...he looked at I MAN askedly, like...who are you...though he probably knew my face from the Masters League competition...I MAN just say, “ whap'n Erks...his ancient football name that goes back to his days at KC…and just pushed by...giving myself access to the MacDonald Tunnel and a direct route to the Royal box.