Friday, December 15, 2023

British Jamaican All_Time Greatest Team

 This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Lurher Blissett and John Barnes

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index

This is my selection of All-Time Team for British Jamaicans.  All British-born Jamaican players are qualified to be on this fantasy team as well as any England internationals are Jamaicans. 
The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.

Since the start of the 20th century, Jamaicans have been present in the UK.  In the 1950s, Britain faced a struggling economy and significant labor shortages. Consequently, the British government turned to its overseas colonies for assistance and actively encouraged migration to fill the numerous job vacancies. Hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans made their way to the United Kingdom. 

In the realm of football, Viv Anderson holds the distinction of being the first black player to represent England. David James, in turn, became England's first black goalkeeper, while John Barnes holds the record for the highest number of appearances by an English Jamaican in the England national football team.  It is noteworthy that Jamaica achieved a significant milestone by qualifying for the 1998 World Cup Finals in France. This success story was made possible by a combination of a golden generation of homegrown talents and the contributions of British Jamaican footballers in the English Premier League. Inspired by this captivating history, I have written a blog highlighting the role of the British-Jamaicans on Jamaica's 1998 World Cup team

Kalvin Philips and Raheem Sterling
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 also played for Aston Villa, West Ham United, Manchester City and Portsmouth. He picked up 53 caps for England between 1997 and 2010.  He was the starting keeper at the European Champions in 2004 and the World Cup Finals in 2010. He was England's first Black international goalkeeper.
David James
Alex Williams made 125 league appearance for Manchester City in 1980's. He helped City to win promotion out of the Second Division in 1984–85. He made the PFA Team of the Year for Division 2 in 1984-1985. He also played for Port Vale. However, he was forced into early retirement in September 1987 due to a recurring back injury.  He won the 1980 UEFA European Under-18 Championship and 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Championship with England.  

Richardson began with Chelsea, but never played a game for them.  From 1976 to 1979, he played about 30 games with QPR which then in the top tier, making him the first Black goalkeeper since Arthur Wharton to play in that level.  He later played for  Sheffield United, and Coventry City.  He also played at international level for England at youth and semi-professional. In 1979, he played in a benefit match for West Bromwich Albion player Len Cantello, that saw a team of white players play against a team of black players.

RB: Viv Anderson 
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 Championship 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. 
Viv Anderson
RB: Kyle Walker 
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. He won the treble in 2023.  At the time of writing, he has over 81 caps.  He went to the European Championship in 2016 and 2020 and the World Cup Finals in 2018 and 2022.

CB: Sol Campbell 
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.
Sol Campbell
Smalling played his 10 seasons with Manchester United, where he won two Premiership titles at the end of Sir Alex's tenure, and an Europa League and FA Cup after Sir Alex.  In 2020, he joined AS Roma, where he won the Europa Conference League.  From 2011 to 2017, he was capped 31 times for England.  He went to the 2014 World Cup as well as the Euro 2016. 

CB: Wes Morgan (Jamaica)
Rejected by Notts County, Wes 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: Des Walker 
Des Walker played 59 times for England between 1988 and 1993.  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 between 1984 and 1992, and Sheffield Wednesday between 1993 and 2001.  He played one season at Sampdoria in Italy after the 1990 World Cup Finals.  He was even named in their PFA Team of Century between 1977 and 1996.  
Des Walker
LB/LW: Ashley Young 
Young started his career at Watford.  In January 2007, he transferred to Aston Villa.  He established himself in the first team at Villa Park and won the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2009. In 2011, Young signed for Manchester United for an undisclosed fee. He has gone on to win every trophy available in English football.  He also played for Everton, Inter Milan and Aston Villa. He played 39 times for England between 2007 and 2018.

LB: Danny Rose 
Danny Rose was a youth product with Leeds United in 2006, but never played for them.  He played for Tottenham Hotspur between 2007 and 2021.  He had loan spells with Watford, Peterborough United, Bristol City and Sunderland.  In 2022, he joined Watford.  Rose earned his first senior cap in a 3–2 victory against Germany in 2016.  He played 26 times between 2016 and 2019.  He played in Euro 2016 and the World Cup Finals in 2018. He was a part of the Team GB at the London Olympics.

Philips made his debut with Leeds in 2015.  He was named in the PFA Team of the Year for Championship in 2020.  In 2022, he was transferred to Manchester City.   He was a part of the team that won the treble.  In 2020, he earned his first cap with England.  Later, he had a starring role at the Euro 2020 after England reached the Final.  He was named England's 2020–21 Men's Player of the Year.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the son of former England international Mark Chamberlain.  He made his name with Southampton.  He signed for Arsenal in 2011 after a single season at the senior level.  Between 2017 and 2023, he played for Liverpool, winning the 2018–19 Champions League and 2019–20 Premier League.  In 2023, he joined Besiktas in Turkey.  Between 2012 and 2019, he had 35 caps.  He participated at the European Championship in 2012 and the World Cup Finals in 2014.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
CM: Ruben Loftus-Cheek 
Ruben Loftus-Cheek began his career with Chelsea in 2014.  For his first three seasons, he was mainly a backup player.  In 2017, he was sent on a loan to Crystal Palace.  He returned to Chelsea,  and then, another loan move to  Fulham in 2020. In 2023, he left Chelsea for AC Milan. In 2017, he made his national team debut with England.  He was capped 10 times.  He played a single match at the 2018 World Cup Finals.

CM/AM: Ricky Hill
From 1976 to 1989, Hill played for Luton Town where he was considered one of their best ever footballers.  He helped them to their promotion to the First Division and won the League Cup.  He also played in France and the United States. Between 1982 and 1986, Hill only played three times for England, but he was the fourth Black player to play for England’s Senior National team and the first British South Asian to represent England at the Senior level.  

RW/FW Theo Walcott 
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 47 caps for England.  Except for a loan spell, he has only played for Arsenal and Everton.

FW/RW: Raheem Sterling 
Raheem Sterling 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 the World Cup Finals in 2014, and Euro 2016 and 2020.  In 2019, he won the FWA Player of the Year. Liked John Barnes, he was born in Jamaica.  Since 2012, he played 82 times for England.
Raheem Sterling
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.

John 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.  He played 79 times for England, and went to two World Cup Finals.
John Barnes
His professional career lasted from 1988 to 2008, and is mostly remembered for his time with Manchester United, who paid a British record transfer fee to sign him from Newcastle United. Cole spent six years with Manchester United and won nine trophies, including the Treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999.  Despite of his decorated club career, he only played 15 times for England, and never in a major tournament.

Leslie was the only black professional player in England during his time with Plymouth Argyle. Leslie enjoyed a 14–season spell with Argyle, having joined the club from Barking Town in 1921.  He was called up to England in 1925 as a non-travelling reserve, but the call-up was withdrew. It has been speculated because of his skin color.  He would have become the first Black player to represent England.  He was born in England.
Jack Leslie
Born in Jamaica, Blissett is best known for his time at Watford, whom he helped win promotion from the Fourth Division to the First Division. He holds Watford's all-time records for appearances and goals, having played 503 games and scored 186 goals.  He played briefly for AC Milan, where he was a cult hero.  He was one of the first Black footballers to play for England and the first one to score.   In total, he had 14 caps.

ST: Ian Wright 
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.
Ian Wright
Honorable Mentions
Dillon Barnes, Derek Richardson, Reece James, Kieran Tripper, Paul Parker, Frank Sinclair, Adrian Mariappa, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Darryl Powell, Fitzroy Simpson, Brennan Johnson, Jaidon Anthony, Michail Antonio, Ivan Toney, Darren Bent, Aaron Lennon, Mark Chamberlain, Jermaine Pennant,  Darius Vassell, Paul Davis, Paul Hall, Darren Bent, Andros Townsend, Garth Crooks, Lindy Delapenha, Callum Wilson, Deon Burton, Trevor Sinclair 

Squad Explanation
-- In December, 2023, I updated Jamaica/Jamaican Diaspora.  I realised that many Jamaican footballers and British-Jamaican footballers were overlooked.  I decided to create an All-Time Team for Jamaican international players and this British Jamaican team respectively at the same team.  I also did a review of Black Players who played for England at the same time.
-- All players must be Jamaicans who are either born in Great Britain or have been capped by any of the British national teams.  I accepted British-born Jamaican players who were capped by Jamaica, but contributions to Jamaica are not a criterion.
-- This team was not about England only, but nobody from the other parts of Great Britain were ever considered.  In actually, this team was about England.  Wes Morgan was the only non-English international player selected.
-- John Barnes and Laurie Cunningham were the two greatest British Jamaican players. Being the first Jamaican to play for England, Viv Anderson was an automatic selection.  David James, Sol Campbell, Des Walker and Raheem Sterling were also undisputed.
John Barnes and Des Walker
-- In 1978, Viv Anderson made history as the first black footballer to earn a senior cap for England. Shortly after, in 1979, Laurie Cunningham, also of Jamaican descent, joined him in representing the national team. The momentum continued in 1982 when a wave of black footballers made their senior national team debuts. The journey began with Cyrille Regis, who, though not Jamaican, received his cap before the 1982 World Cup Finals. Following the World Cup, three British Jamaicans, namely Ricky Hill, Luther Blissett, and Mark Chamberlain, all born in Great Britain, earned their caps. Later in 1983, John Barnes made his debut, becoming the first Jamaican-born player to be capped by England. Thus, six out of the first seven black English international players had Jamaican roots.
-- That era in the English league witnessed a remarkable emergence of black players. John Barnes and Luther Blissett formed a lethal duo at Watford, while Mark Chamberlain made a name for himself at Stoke. Danny Wallace, though not Jamaican, left his mark at Southampton, Ricky Hill at Luton, and Alex Williams at Manchester City. This period was not far removed from Viv Anderson's groundbreaking England debut in 1978 and the awe-inspiring "Three Degrees" of West Bromwich Albion, consisting of Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunningham, and Brendon Batson. Notably, Cunningham was the sole Jamaican among the trio, representing the rich Jamaican heritage within the English football landscape.
-- Both Lindy Delapenha and Gil Heron were pioneers in the English and Scottish league respectively.  Both were born in Jamaica at a time under British rule and before the foundation of the Jamaican national team in 1962.  Heron probably played for a Caribbean or even a Jamaican representative side before going to play club football in the United States and Scotland.  I did not know if they were considered Britons.  So, I kept them off this team for now.
-- David James was the first Black goalkeeper to represent England at the senior level.  Since his time, England has not capped another Black goalkeeper at that level.  
-- Alex Williams won the 1980 UEFA European Under-18 Championship and 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Championship with England.  He was an icon and hero of many Black goalkeepers from the United Kingdom.  I did not know if racism played a part in England snubbing him for a senior cap since he was playing in the same generation as Ray Clemence, Joe Corrigan, Peter Shilton, Chris Woods and Gary Bailey.  The competition was fierce during his prime.
Alex Williams
-- At the time of writing, Dillion Barnes had a single cap for Jamaica while Jamal Blackman played some games at the youth level for England.  
Both Dillion Barnes and Jamal Blackman were lower division players playing in England.  So Derek Richardson seemed to be the obvious third choice.  He was the first Black goalkeeper since Arthur Wharton to play in the English league.  In QPR, he was used as an understudy to Phil Parkes, but from 1976 to 1979, he played about 31 games with QPR which then was in the top tier.  He actually broke the racial barrier before Alex Williams did by playing in the First Division.  
-- Lawrence Vigouroux who was born in England, and he represented Chile at the youth level.  His father was from Chile, but his mother was a Jamaican.  Being Chilean international did not affect his status on this team. He is a British Jamaicans.  At the moment, he is a League Two Player.  So I continued with Jake Blackman who was a Championship goalkeeper.
-- Sol Campbell is on my England's All-Time team.  For England, he was named on the Team of the Tournament in both 2002 World Cup Finals and Euro 2004.  He was considered one of the best centrebacks in the world of his generation.  For Arsenal, he was being part of the team that became known as The Invincibles for their undefeated 2003–04 Premier League campaign. 
-- Des Walker was another sure-in defender. On four straight occasions, he was selected for the PFA Team of the Year between 1989 and 1992.  He was even named in the PFA Team of Century between 1977 and 1996.  
-- For my Jamaican/Jamaican diaspora team, I placed Wes Morgan and Frank Sinclair ahead of Chris Smalling because they played for Jamaica and contributed more to the island nation.  But this team was about British Jamaicans.  The Jamaican international players did not get priority over here.  Smalling had 31 senior caps for England and went to a World Cup Finals.  He also played over 200 games for Manchester United.  
-- Wes Morgan was Nottingham Forest longest-serving player when he transferred to Leicester City in 2012.  In the 2015-2016 season, he played every minute of Leicester Town's historical Premiership winning year.  
-- Frank Sinclair was a star player in his time with Chelsea, but the other players had accomplished more.  Morgan's Leicester City's Premiership winning season was very significant in the history of the English football.
-- Chris Smalling also operated as a rightback, but I still took both Viv Anderson and Kyle Walker.  Being the first Jamaican British or Black player to be capped by England at the senior level made Viv Anderson an undisputed choice for this team.  He was an iconic footballer of his time.  He also won back-to-back European Cups with Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest.  Kyle Walker had over 80 caps for England.  At the time of writing, he was named on the PFA Team of the Year on three occasions. He was a big part of Manchester City's continental treble in the 2022-2023 season.  The pair kept Frank Sinclair who was also a rightback off the team.  Reece James is still an emerging talent as of December, 2023.  He alongside Kieran Tripper and Paul Parker made honorable mention.  Tripper was named in the PFA Team of the Year in the 2022-2023 season.  Paul Parker started on most of England's games at the 1990 World Cup team.  That campaign was England's best result since 1966.  He was a rightback, but he also played as a centreback for his club team briefly.
Kyle Walker
-- Both of Ashely Young's parents came from Jamaica.  He played 39 times for England.  He was named twice on the PFA Team of the Year.  Danny Rose was also named twice in the PFA Team of the Year.  
-- I selected three contemporary midfielders to discuss. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who achieved notable success with Liverpool, won the 2018-19 Champions League and the 2019-20 Premier League. He established himself as a decorated player. While at Arsenal, he primarily served as a right winger or wingback, but his preferred position was central midfield, where he excelled after joining Liverpool. Kalvin Phillips faced some challenges after his move to Manchester City in 2022, but he played a pivotal role in England's impressive run at Euro 2020. His performances earned him recognition as England's Player of the Year in the 2021-2022 season. The tournament marked England's best finish in a senior international tournament since 1966. Ruben Loftus-Cheek boasts over eight seasons in the Premiership as of the time of writing. He also represented England in the 2018 World Cup Finals. His career trajectory has been significantly more successful than that of Darryl Powell and Fitzroy Simpson. Throughout his career, Loftus-Cheek has been deployed in various positions, including right-back, central defender, and striker. However, his true strengths lie in central or attacking midfield. While his versatility played a role in his selection, it is worth noting that I specifically required him as a midfielder.
-- After considering the three midfielders previously mentioned, the team was still in need of a fourth midfielder. Several candidates made the shortlist for this position, including Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Ricky Hill, Darryl Powell, and Fitzroy Simpson.
-- Maitland-Niles' best position should be a right winger.  Since this team was loaded with right-side wide players (see below), I immediately dropped him.  I considered Powell a better player than Simpson.  He played more games than Simpson at the top tiers of English football.  So it would be between Ricky Hill and Darryl Powell.
-- Ricky Hill, the fourth black player to represent England at the senior national team level, holds a significant place in football history. Notably, he was also the first British South Asian to don the England jersey (his father's family from India via Jamamica). Hill played a pivotal role in Luton Town's promotion to the First Division in 1982, marking a memorable achievement in his career. Moreover, Hill was part of an era that witnessed a wave of black footballers making a resounding impact on English football in the early 1980s. 
While Darryl Powell might have had the potential to make a notable impact on the Jamaican national team, his contributions to English football were less distinguished. In contrast, Ricky Hill was widely regarded as one of Luton Town's greatest players.
-- Raheem Sterling was named FWA Footballer of the Year in 2019. At one point, he was the most expensive English international player.  He was a key player for Manchester City.  He was mainly a forward, but he could also play wide on the right. 
-- Despite the nostalgic and sentimental feelings associated with Mark Chamberlain in the 1980's, his inclusion in the team was overshadowed by the presence of his son, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Raheem Sterling. Additionally, Theo Walcott's impressive record of 564 senior matches in the Premier League, scoring 129 goals primarily from the right wing, and his 47 caps for England made him a compelling choice. Consequently, there was no room for Mark Chamberlain in the team.
-- Jermaine Pennant shone for Liverpool in the 2007 Champions League final, but his career was left unfulfilled.  Aaron Lennon went to two World Cup Finals.  Andros Townsend played 12 times for England.  They all made honorable mentions.
-- The left wing was much easier to select.  I had two of the best players on the entire team. John Barnes was born in Jamaica, but he played for England. His career with Liverpool FC was well-known.  Laurie Cunningham inspired many Black players in the United Kingdom.  They forced Ashley Young to the left wingback position.  Trevor Sinclair made honorable mentions. Mark Chamberlain was also considered.  He could play both sides of the wings. 
Laurie Cunningham
-- Ian Wright was elected into the English Football Hall of Flame.  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.  Andy Cole's career with Manchester United spoke for itself.   He was a big part of Manchester United's treble in 1999.   His partnership with Dwight Yorke was one of most fearsome in the history of the English football league. He is the 4th All-Time leading scorer in the Premier League.
-- Then, I selected Jack Leslie.  He received a call-up by England in 1926, but the English FA later withdrew it presumedly after they learned that he was Black.  He would have been the first Jamaican or Black player to be capped by England over 50 years before Viv Anderson.   He was more historical significant than most players on this blog.
-- Luther Blissett still holds Watford's all-time records for both appearances (503) and goals (186).  He played alongside John Barnes under manager Graham Taylor with Watford in the early 1980's.  There were some romantic notion of a pair of Jamaican-born players tearing up the English league in the early 1980's. As mentioned above, it was a period that set the foundation for other Black  players.  Blissett also helped Watford to jump from the Fourth Division to top flight runners-up in a relatively short period.  His reputation however was tarnished by his move to AC Milan, but his association with AC Milan turned him into a cult player in Milan.  His name had some cultural impact.  
Luther Blissett
-- Daniel Sturridge was selected for the 2014 World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016, earning 28 England caps in total.  He was the last player cut on this team.  Darren Bent and Darius Vassell were also seriously considered.
-- Throughout his career Gareth Crooks was an active member of the Professional Footballers' Association and was elected the first black chairman of the union.
-- Deon Burton was a hero in Jamaica, but the criteria for this team was different.  His club career was bouncing between the Premiership and the Championship.  The other forwards in questions were all solid players in the top tiers in English football.
-- Alberto Spencer was born in Ecuador.  There was a rumor that England considered calling him up, but I really did not know whether it was a true story nor he was actually eligible to play for England.  He was not considered.


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