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.