|Jamaica at World Cup 1998|
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index
Central America without Honduras Costa Rica, USA and Mexico
Black English players
This is my selection of All-Time Team for Jamaica and Jamaican diaspora. Both players who were capped by Jamaica and any other national teams are qualified to be on this fantasy team. The key factor is contribution to Jamaican football. The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.
Jamaica is known for its fine athletes. Lennox Lewis, Usain Bolt Donovan Bailey, etc all came from JamaicaSeveral Jamaican-born footballers such as England's John Barnes became star players in the UK and the United States. However, its national football team never made almost any impact in the international stage until 1997. In 1998, the Reggae Boyz qualified for the WC Finals in France. Their success story was a mixture of a golden generation of homegrown talents and the mobilization of British Jamaican footballers in the English Preimer League. I have written a blog about the British-Jamaicans on Jamaica's 1998 World Cup team.
|Bob Marley playing against Alan Cole|
GK: David James (England)At the time of writing, David James is the third all-time Premier league appearance record holder. He starred for Liverpool as one of the "Spice Boys". However, his reputation suffered after a series of blunders, earning the nickname of "Calamity James". He picked up 53 caps for England. He was the starting keeper at the European Champions in 2004 and the World Cup Finals in 2010.
Barrett played mostly for Violet Kickers F.C., but also played one season for Wadadah F.C. in Jamaica. He captained his nation at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. According to the Jamaica Football Federation, Barrett earned 127 caps for the Reggae Boyz, but this figure has not been officially acknowledged by FIFA.
GK: Donovan Ricketts (Jamaica)
Ricketts played more than 100 games for Bradford City in England, and has more than 100 appearances in Major League Soccer and has twice been named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. He was also the captain of the Jamaica national football team, earning 100 caps for his country, until his retirement from international football in 2013.
RB: Viv Anderson (England)
In 1978, Viv Anderson became the first Black player to play for the English senior national team. He would earn 30 caps between 1978 and 1988. He was on two World Cup team: 1982 and 1986, and two European Championshiop team: 1980 and 1988. He was a part of Brian Clough's Nottingham Forrest team that won back-to-back European Cup in 1979 and 1980. He also played for Arsenal, Manchester United and and Sheffield Wednesday.
RB: Kyle Walker (England)
Kyle Walker started with boyhood club Sheffield United and made his name with Tottenham Hotspurs after loan spells with Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa. In 2017, he joined Manchester City for one of the most expensive fees. At the time of writing, he has over 30 caps. He went to the European Championship in 2016 and the World Cup Finals in 2018.
CB: Sol Campbell (England)
Sol Campbell was one of the greatest English defenders. He was a member of Arsenal's "Invincibles" that went undefeated in 2003-2004 season. At the club level, he spent 9 seasons for Tottenham Hotspurs and served as its captain before moving to its rival Arsenal on a free transfer that sparked a controversy. He later played for Portsmouth. For England, he earned 73 caps in 11 years. He went to three World Cup Finals: 1998, 2002 and 2006.
Des Walker played 59 times for England. He started in all of England's games at the World Cup Finals in 1990. He was rated as one of the best defender at that Finals. For club football, he mainly played for Nottingham Forrest and Sheffield Wednesday. He played one season at Sampdoria in Italy.
CB: Wes Morgan (Jamaica)
Rejected by Notts County, Morgan was playing for non-league team before being discovered by Nottingham Forest in 2002. In 2012, he moved to Leicester Town. In the 2015-2016 season, he played every minute of Leicester Town's historical Preimership winning year and also served as the team's captain. At the time of writing, he had 30 caps for Jamaica.
CB: Frank Sinclair (Jamaica)
Frank Sinclair started his career with Chelsea where he spent 8 seasons. He won the FA Cup in 1996-1997. And he won a League Cup with Leicester Town in 2000. He played for many clubs all over England. His performance in England led him to be call-up by Jamaica for the 1998 World Cup Finals in 1998. He was one of 7 English-born Jamaican players on the team. He played 28 caps for Jamaica between 1998 and 2003.
LB: Danny Rose (England)
Danny Rose was a youth product with Leeds United in 2006, but never played for them. He left for Tottenham Hotspur in 2007. He had loan spells with Watford, Peterborough United, Bristol City and Sunderland. Rose earned his first senior cap in a 3–2 victory against Germany in 2016.
LB/LW: Ricardo Gardner (Jamaica)
Gardner started with Harbour View at home. His performances for Jamaica during the 1998 World Cup attracted English First Division side Bolton Wanderers. He played 14 seasons for Bolton Wanderers of which 11 were spent in the Premier League. Gardner earned 112 caps for the Jamaica national football team, scoring 9 goals and playing at four CONCACAF Gold Cups and the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He had 112 caps and went to the 1998 WC Finals.
DM/CM: Fitzroy Simpson (Jamaica)
Simpson notably played in the Premier League for Manchester City, Scottish Premier League for Hearts and the Irish IFA Premiership for Linfield. He also played in the Football League for Swindon Town, Bristol City, Portsmouth and Walsall before ending his career in non-league football with Telford United, Havant & Waterlooville and Eastleigh. Born in the UK, he played for Jamaica at the WC in 1998. He had 43 caps.
CM: Jonathan de Guzman (Holland)
Jonathan De Guzmán is the brother of Julian. He progressed through the Feyenoord Academy, making his first team debut in 2005. In 2010, he went to play in Spain first with RCD Mallorca and then,Villarreal. He later played for Swansea and Napoli. Born in Canada, he became a Dutch citizen in 2008 and immediately, made himself available for Dutch selection. In 2013, he finally received his first senior cap. He played at the World Cup Finals in 2014.
|Jonathan de Guzman|
The son of a Reggae musician, he was born in Lambeth, London, and his career included spells at English clubs Portsmouth, Derby County, Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest, as well as a stint at Colorado Rapids in the USA. He was one of the British-born Reggae Boyz playing for Jamaica in France 98. He has 21 caps.
AM/CM: Theodore Whitmore (Jamaica)
Whitmore is considered one of the greatest player who had played for Jamaica. He started his club career at Montego Bay Boys Club, and has since played for Violet Kickers and Seba United in his native Jamaica. He was signed on a free by English league side Hull City, but an accident in Jamaica cut short his Hull career. Scottish team Livingston acquired his services in 2003, and in June 2004 he signed for Tranmere Rovers. He had 127 caps for Jamaica.
Barnes was widely considered to be one of the greatest Liverpool players, where he formed one of their greatest team playing alongside Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge and Ray Houghton. before joining Liverpool, he played for Watford. At Watford, he also helped them to the Final of the FA Cup in 1984. He was voted PFA Player of the Year in 1988 and FWA Player of the Year in both 1988 and 1990.
Cunnugham was considered to be the first Black star player in England and an icon for a generation of Black players in England. With Cyrille Regis and Brendon Batson, they formed an all-Black attack that was known as "The Three Degrees" with West Bromwich Albion in the late 1970's. In 1979, he became the first British player ever to play for Real Madrid. He returned to Manchester United in 1983. He was only capped 6 times by England and was overlooked for Euro 1980, despite starring at La Liga the season before.
Walcott, then 17 years old was a surpassingly named in Sven-Goran Ericsson's squad for the 2006 World Cup, despite having only made 13 appearances in senior football and none in the Premier League. He made no appearance in Germany. Fabio Capello did not take him to South Africa 2010 and an injury kept him from Brazil 2014. At the time of writing, he made 40 caps for England. Except for a loan spell, he has only played for Arsenal.
AM: Alan Cole (Jamaica)
Cole played in the NASL with the Atlanta Chiefs, and in Brazil with Náutico. He is largely known as one of Jamaica's greatest footballer. In addition to his football career, Cole was also the manager of the Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley and his band The Wailers. He was credited as co-writing the 1976 song "War".
FW/RW: Raheem Sterling (England)
He broke into the Liverpool lineup as a 17 years old in 2012, where he became their star players until 2015. In the spring of 2015, he had a contract disputes with the club. He moved to Manchester City for 44 million pounds. He made his national team debut in 2012. He played at Brazil 2014. In 2019, he won the FWA Player of the Year. Liked John Barnes, he was born in Jamaica.
FW: Lindy Delapenha (Jamaica)
In April 1948 he joined Portsmouth. There, he became the first Jamaican to play professional football in England. In 1950, he transferred to Middlesbrough where his career took off. He became Boro's leading scorer in the 1951–52, 1953–54 and 1955–56 seasons. He moved to Mansfield Town in 1958. Delapenha played non-league football, Hereford United and Burton Albion. He won the Southern League Cup in 1964 with Burton.
FW: Gil Heron (Jamaica/Canada)
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, he moved to Canada as a youth. He played for Detroit Corinthians and Detroit Wolverines, where he was top goalscorer in the 1946 season. He was spotted by a scout from Glasgow Celtic where he became the first Black to play for Celtic. He also played for Third Lanark and English club Kidderminster Harriers before moving back to Detroit Corinthians. At Celtic he earned the nicknames "The Black Arrow" and "The Black Flash".
ST: Ian Wright (England)
Wright was a legendary striker with Arsenal. Before joining Arsenal, he was a hero with Crystal Palace. At the time of writing, he was their highest goal scorer since the War. In 1991, he joined Arsenal. He spent 7 seasons with them, winning all three domestic trophies and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1994. Despite being a top scorer in the domestic league(he scored over 20 goals every season from 1991 to 1998), he only played 33 times for England and was never selected for any of the major tournaments.
ST: Alberto Spencer (Ecuador)
Alberto Spencer was known as "Cabeza Mágica" (Spanish for magic head). He is still the all-time leading scorer in the Copa Libertadores' history. He is considered one of South America's greatest strikers. He won three Libertadores Cups and two Intercontinental Cups with Uruguay's Penarol. He was elected the 20th best South American footballer of the 20th century in a poll by the IFFHS in 2004. He also played for Everest and Barcelona at home.
ST: Dean Burton (Jamaica)
Between 1994 and 2016, Dean Burton played for numerous clubs in English football including Portsmouth, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday. In 1997, he became the first group of British-born footballers to play for Jamaica. He was their hero as Jamaica qualified for the World Cup for the first time. He was named Jamaican Sportsman of the Year in 1997. He had a total of 62 caps between 1997 and 2009.
Luther Blissett (England), Chris Smalling (England), Darren Bent (England), Aaron Lennon (England), Ashley Young (England), Mark Chamberlain (England), Jermaine Pennant (England), Darius Vassell (England), Paul Davis (England), Claude Davis (Jamaica), Robbie Earle (Jamaica), Marcus Gayle (Jamaica), Paul Hall (Jamaica), Ricardo Fuller (Jamaica), Walter Boyd (Jamaica), Jeff Cunningham (USA), Robin Fraser (USA), Mark Chung (USA), Julian Guzman (Canada)
-- Lindy Delapenha is considered the greatest Jamaican player ever. He never played for Jamaica as the island was still a British colony when he was active. John Barnes was also born in Jamaica, but he played for England.
-- The selection is mainly based up the successes of the players in Europe. However, I do consider their contributions to their national teams, but I gave extra thought to the ones who represented Jamaica. I gave preference to British-born footballers who played for Jamaica over uncapped Jamaican British players. I also gave extra considerations to Lindy Delapenha, Gil Heron and Alan Cole because of their legendary status in Jamaica. I cited being a "hero of Jamaican football" as a major factor for selecting the players. However, I selected a large number of overseas Jamaicans capped by other national teams and British Jamaicans playing for Reggae Boyz. Alan Cole, Ricardo Gardner and Theodoro Whitmore are the only domestic outfield players selected. Lindy Delapenha and Gil Heron never played for Jamaica.
-- Alberto Spencer is of British Jamaican background. He was rumoured to have been linked with a call up by England at one point in his career.
-- Theodore Whitmore is considered the greatest Jamaican international player. I meant players being born and capped by Jamaica.
-- Sol Campbell is on my England's All-Time team.
-- David James, Sol Campbell, Viv Anderson, Des Walker, Sol Campbell, Theo Walcott, John Barnes, Laurie Cunningham, Raheem Sterling and Ian Wright are on my All-Time Team for Black English players. Laurie Cunningham was widely known as the first Black star footballer in England.
-- Frank Sinclair is on my CONCACAF All-time 23 member team (excluding Mexico, Costa Rica and the USA).
-- Gil Heron was the first Jamaican to play in Scotland. He was born in Jamaica, but spent some time in Canada. He was also uncapped as Jamaica was still under the British when he was active.
-- Fitzroy Simpson, Paul Hall, Robbie Earle, Dean Burton, Frank Sinclair, Marcus Gayle and Darryl Powell were the British-born Jamaicans who went to France 1998.
-- Laurie Cunningham and John Barnes kept Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ashley Young out of the team.
-- Dean Burton was the hero of the 1998 World Cup Qualifiers. He deserved a spot on the team. So I selected him over Darius Vassell who was more established in the Premiership than Burton. I gave Burton credit for being a hero of Jamaica.
-- Luther Blissett is a special case. His reputation was destroyed while playing for AC Milan. He was more of a cult hero. He only made my honourable mention.
-- Three Americans made my honourable mention. Mark Chung is of Chinese heritage.
-- Jonathan and Julian Guzman are brothers from Canada. Their mother is Jamaican. Jonathan de Guzman chose to play for Holland.
--Alberto Spencer's father was a British Jamaican. In fact, he was linked to be capped by England at one point before the World Cup Finals of 1966. I do not know how serious was the link.
-- Leon Bailey is a emerging player playing in the Bundesliga as of 2018. His future seemed bright.
I decided to build my team around the top players who played for Jamaica. Gardner, Delapenha, Whitmore, Simpson and Sinclair got the start. And then, I surrounded them with the Jamaican-English players such as John Barnes, Sol Campbell, Des Walker and Paul Walker. Alberto Spencer took over Ian Wright's on the starting lineup.