Foot­ball heroes

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Sport 5 -

The late Reg­gie Haynes and Keith Grell Grif­fith are au­to­matic choices for any lo­cal foot­ball Hall Of Fame. This is a great time to re­mem­ber the won­drous deeds of Haynes and Grif­fith, two Novem­ber men. Born on Novem­ber 22, 1931, Haynes was undis­putably one of the best foot­ballers that Bar­ba­dos has pro­duced, and good enough that a round­about, stand or fa­cil­ity should be named af­ter him. Haynes was a star for Ever­ton and Bar­ba­dos in the 1950s and 1960s, and the first West In­dian goalscorer on English soil. On that his­toric tour of Eng­land in 1959, Haynes, the only Bar­ba­dian in the Caribbean side that clashed with the English Corn­wall team, broke through the de­fence and slammed a right booter with deadly ac­cu­racy into the back of the net. Corn­wall won 2-1 but Haynes had made his mark. The 5 ft, 5 in, Haynes was picked on the Bar­ba­dos team to tour Trinidad for a quad­ran­gu­lar West Indies tour­na­ment in 1959 that com­prised British Guiana (Guyana), Trinidad, Ja­maica and Bar­ba­dos. This com­pe­ti­tion was used as a gauge for se­lec­tion for the tour of Eng­land. Trinidad won the tour­na­ment and only two Bar­ba­di­ans were called to tri­als – Haynes and goal­keeper Cam­mie Smith, who has the dis­tinc­tion of rep­re­sent­ing Spar­tan and Bar­ba­dos in both cricket and foot­ball.

Haynes made it into the 21-mem­ber squad to Eng­land, which com­prised 10 Trinida­di­ans, six Ja­maicans and four Guyanese.

He spent the lat­ter years of his life in Clapham, but Haynes is a prod­uct of New Or­leans in The City, an area that has pro­duced cricket great Sir Ever­ton Weekes and top foot­ballers Ty­rone Forde, Shirley Clarke, Glyne Massie John­son, Keith Jigga El­cock, Lester Welch, and Pa­trick Pottie He­witt.

Grif­fith, who made the Bar­ba­dos team in 1966 when Haynes was bow­ing out, said the for­mer Ever­ton star was his men­tor and piv­otal in his devel­op­ment as a player.

Also a prod­uct of New Or­leans, Grif­fith played foot­ball for Bar­ba­dos from 1966 to 1976, in 120 rep­re­sen­ta­tive matches in­clud­ing 55 full in­ter­na­tion­als, and has been in­volved in the sport as a player and coach for more than 40 years. He made his de­but in Di­vi­sion 1 as a 16-year-old in 1961 for Wales against The Lodge School. That Wales team was led by Car­los Chuck Berry Grif­fith, and in­cluded Vic­tor Gas Clarke and Wil­bert Puskas Stoute.

Be­tween 1966 and 1970, he played as a striker and when he served as na­tional cap­tain from 1971 to 1976, switched to the sweeper po­si­tion.

As a player, Grif­fith wore the colours of Bev­er­ley Hills and South Wales in his peak years per­form­ing the dual role of player/coach for sev­eral years. To­wards the lat­ter stages of his ca­reer, he and other stal­warts like Gas Clarke and Charles Wil­liams made the move to Pinelands.

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