These are some famous Jamaican footballers. Just to name a few. They have made Jamaicans proud and have brought Jamaica into the spotlight.
Lindy Delapenha: Lloyd Lindbergh “Lindy” Delapenha was the first Jamaican to play professional football in England joining Portsmouth April 1948. He was transferred to Middlesbroug in April 1950 and became a sensation playing on the wing or inside forward.
After a phenomenal performance as a schoolboy athlete, taking part in 16 events over a one-and-a-half day period, he served with the British armed forces in the Middle East following World War II. During his service, an English football scout saw him playing football for the British army. This gained him a trial with Arsenal, but he did not sign for the club, and in April 1948 he joined Portsmouth. There, he became the first Jamaican to play professional football in England. Although it is claimed he was the first non-white player to appear in the English Football League First Division, he was actually predated by several other non-white players, including Arthur Wharton, who played a First Division match for Sheffield United as far back as 1894-95. He went on to win a league championship medal with Portsmouth in 1948. In April 1950, after a successful few years with Portsmouth, he transferred to Middlesbrough where his career took off. He played on the wing or inside-forward, and became Boro’s leading scorer in the 1951-52, 1953-54 and 1955-56 seasons. In total he scored 93 league and FA Cup goals in 270 appearances. He moved to Mansfield Town in June 1958, contributing 27 goals in 115 appearances over two years, before retiring from League football in 1960.
Gil Heron: Jamaican born Gil Heron was Celtic’s first black player. He was spotted by a scout from Glasgow Celtic while the club was on tour in North America, and he was signed by the Scottish club in 1951 after being invited over for a trial. Becoming the first black player for Celtic, Heron went on to score on his debut, on 18 August 1951 in a League Cup tie against Morton that Celtic won 2-0. Heron only played five first-team matches in all, scoring twice. He was released by the club the next year and joined Third Lanark where he played in seven League Cup matches, scoring five goals but did not appear in the League. Next he went to English club Kidderminster Harriers before moving back to Detroit Corinthians. At Celtic he earned the nicknames “The Black Arrow” and “The Black Flash”.
He died in Detroit of a heart attack on 27 November 2008.
Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore: Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica on the 5th August 1972. He played for local clubs Violet kickers and Seba United and debuted for the Jamaican national team in November 1993 in a friendly match against the United States. Known as a midfield general, for his creative, silky smooth plays, Whitmore became a catalyst of Jamaica’s 1998 Reggae Boyz World Cup qualifying team. He became an international sensation for his World Cup performance scoring two goals in Jamaica’s 2-1 victory against Japan. He is currently the only Jamaican to score goals in the World Cup while wearing the Jamaican colors.
John Barnes: John Charles Bryan Barnes MBE was born on 7th November 1963 in Kingston, Jamaica and played there at the high school level. Jonn Barnes moved from Jamaica at the age of fifteen to Watford, England.arnes went on to make a big an impact on English football. He went on to become one of the highest profile black footballer ever to grace the English game was capped 79 times for England. Barnes also helped Liverpool to re-establish themselves as the countries top side and many fans would argue that his years there became Liverpool’s best ever.
Alan “Skill” Cole : Alan “Skill” Cole is a Jamaican folk hero whose football feats were legendary. Alan Cole was raised in central Kingston in the working-class neighborhood of Woodford Park. In 1962, Cole went to Kingston College, then a powerhouse in schoolboy football, before moving on to Campion College in 1964. He then entered Vere Technical in 1965 where he made his schoolboy debut and an immediate impact in the DaCosta Cup competition scoring 38 goals and becoming the leading goal scorer. In September 2010, Alan ‘Skill’ Cole was presented with a plaque by FIFA President Sepp Blatter in recognition of his contribution to Jamaican football.