The standard of football coaching in Jamaica looks set to increase over the next few years thanks to the formation of the Wray & Nephew School of Football Coaching.

This partnership between the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and Wray & Nephew is a part of the Wray & Nephew Football Program and will oversee the training of 500 coaches at the Preparatory and Primary School level across Jamaica at the D-license level.

This comprehensive training will certify coaches in order for them to operate at all levels including at International standard fostering a new era of football excellence in Jamaica.

This initiative will also involve the renovation of the existing school of football located at the University of the West Indies.

“I’m very happy to introduce the Wray & Nephew School of Football Coaching,” said Managing Director at J. Wray & Nephew Ltd, Jean-Philippe Beyer last Thursday announcing the partnership at the brand’s headquarters in Kingston.

JFF Technical Committee Chairman Rudolph Speid, who is also the head coach of Jamaica Premier League champions Cavalier SC, is pleased about the continued effort to develop coaches in the country.

“This is a welcome sponsorship to the program. Three years ago, we didn’t have a C-licensed coach in Jamaica. Now, we have five A-licensed coaches and another six are doing their studies. There will be an A-licensing course starting on July 9 with approximately 20 local coaches in that class,” he said.

“We now have 100 B-licensed coaches in Jamaica, 200 C-licensed coaches and over 500 D-licensed coaches but those coaches were really building from the top. We have now embarked on a very ambitious program with the help of Wray & Nephew and the SDF (Sports Development Foundation) to certify 500 coaches at the Primary and Preparatory School level across Jamaica at the D-license level and then bring them up to the C-license level by July 2025,” he added.

Speid also emphasized the importance of developing a good coaching education program.

“If you look at it, all the national teams that do well, in Europe and South America for example, have the best coaching education programs in the world. That is what we are trying to emulate here in Jamaica,” he said.

Also on hand was President of the Jamaica Football Federation, Michael Ricketts, who thanked Wray & Nephew for continuing to invest in the country's football development.

"We just want to form an alliance as we try to move the sport forward and this is no ordinary announcement. This is what we're asking corporate Jamaica to do as part of building this nation of ours," he said.

Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, the hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, also played a hand in the formation of the school of coaching through her ministry.

“We continue to strengthen our sporting culture by investing in sports and this includes providing and increasing access to quality education for our coaches,” she said.

“When private sector companies and Government partner in sports, sustainable growth and improvement in all levels become the key input,” she added.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has found itself embroiled in yet another controversy following the announcement of the Reggae Boyz squad for the upcoming Copa America competition. The squad, revealed on Wednesday, included Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey, who quickly took to social media to label the inclusion as "misleading information." This development has sparked confusion and debate among fans and stakeholders alike.

JFF President Michael Ricketts, in an interview with Sportsmax.TV early Thursday, provided insight into the selection process and the circumstances surrounding Bailey's inclusion. The president explained that no player is selected for national duty until there is dialogue with the player’s club or representatives.

According to Ricketts, the situation stemmed from complex interactions between the JFF, Bailey, and his father and agent, Craig Butler. Butler, he said, had attempted to negotiate Bailey's availability for the national team by seeking the selection of players from his Phoenix Academy for both the national senior team and the national U20 team.

"We don’t speak with the players; we speak with the player's club or the player's agent. In this case, (Craig) Butler, got in contact with the General Secretary Dennis Chung,” Ricketts said.  “He wanted other players [from Phoenix Academy] in the U20 squad and he wants players in the senior team in exchange for Bailey. The General Secretary told him no, I can’t deal with that."

The president explained that the general secretary does not play a role in team selection, that is the responsibility of the coaching staff.

Ricketts noted that following his conversation with Chung, Butler then placed a call to Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson and during their conversation assured him that Bailey would not be available for Jamaica’s game against Mexico but would be available for the second and third group-stage games of the Copa America. Consequently, the coach decided to include Bailey in the squad based on this assurance.

Ricketts said he is unaware of any other matters that arose between Butler and the Reggae Boyz head coach.

"Having told the coach that Bailey would be available for the second and third games, the coach named Bailey as part of the squad," Ricketts stated.

Bailey, who has been suspended since the November international break for breaking curfew, had not featured in Jamaica's recent matches, including the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against the Dominican Republic and Dominica earlier this month. Following his suspension, Bailey announced on a podcast that he was taking a break from international football.

On social media Wednesday, Butler reiterated Bailey’s stance, stating that posts suggesting Bailey’s willingness to participate in the Copa America were misleading. "Posts made on social media that are surfacing at this time is a misrepresentation of his position," Butler wrote. "We wish the Reggae Boyz well in the Copa America competition and he, along with his management team, will continue to support the Jamaica National Team at all levels … change must come…Respect and One Love for all."

The squad was announced at Tracks and Records in Kingston on Wednesday evening when Coach Hallgrimsson told media that discussions between Butler and the JFF had gone well, indicating that several issues of concern were addressed, which presumably led him to believe that the player was available for selection.

“So the talk was between his (Bailey’s) agent and the JFF, so I would like to give a lot of credit to Craig and Mr Chung so they sorted out whatever was the issue between him and the JFF so after that I think he has always wanted to represent Jamaica,” the head coach said.

“I don’t want to talk too much about what went on at a meeting I wasn’t attending but I’m just grateful  that this happened and this was resolved. We have been talking about some of the issues he was talking about so we shared some of the same thoughts in so many matters and hopefully it will just help us grow, continue to improve to become more professional…”

However, in an interview on CVM Television Thursday morning, hours after Bailey’s social media post, Butler explained that he met with the JFF and he explained his concerns and they long-term reparations of the damage (of the relationship between the player and governing body.

He said they did not commit to any player whether Bailey of (Dujuan) Whisper Richards rejoining the national team because “we felt that we should take a stand (against the JFF’s lack of professionalism) but more importantly that Leon is taking a break.

“Leon hasn’t had a break since 2016 and he is taking a break to spend time with family. We explained to them that he is not ready but we will speak to him and they (JFF) are not to make any attempts to include him in the squad until I got confirmation or a communication from Leon, who is at Disney World with his family.”

Jamaica is set to open its Copa America campaign against Mexico on June 22, followed by matches against Ecuador on June 26 and Venezuela on June 30.

President Ricketts emphasized the importance of moving forward regardless of the situation. "The show must go on," he declared, underlining the need for the team to remain focused amid the ongoing controversy.

Several calls made to JFF General Secretary went unanswered.


As expected, Jamaica and Manchester City forward Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw won the Barclays Women's Super League (WSL) Golden Boot award by a distance, becoming the first player from the club to win the prize in their 10 years in the top flight.

The award marks a clean sweep of individual prizes for Shaw, who also won the Football Writers' Association (FWA) Player of the Year award and the Women's Super League Player of the Year award in recent weeks.

Shaw’s tally of 21 goals ensured that she finished eight goals clear of Chelsea's Lauren James and Brighton’s Elisabeth Terland, who both ended with 13 goals apiece.

The 27-year-old Shaw averaged a goal every 66 minutes in the league this season, accounting for over a third of the City's total league goals. During her impressive exploits, the Jamaican also became the Club’s record goalscorer in the process, when she found the net in a 3-1 Manchester derby win at the Etihad Stadium.

The forward's campaign was cut short in April after suffering a broken leg in City's 5-0 home win against West Ham.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts again hailed the towering striker on her remarkable achievements throughout the 2023/24 campaign.

"It's pleasing to see Khadija receiving multiple accolades for her achievements," Ricketts said.

"She obviously worked hard to improve her craft and the results have been overwhelming. The management and staff of the federation congratulate her heartily and wish her a speedy recovery from her injury,” he added.

Meanwhile, Shaw's teammate Khiara Keating became the youngest player to win the Women's Super League Golden Glove award.

Keating, 19, kept nine clean sheets in 22 league games for City as they finished second behind Chelsea in the title race. Manchester United's Mary Earps kept seven clean sheets in 22 games, while Chelsea's Hannah Hampton has managed six in 10 matches.

The young shot stopper played just three league games for City last season, spending most of the second half of the campaign on loan at then-Championship side Coventry United.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has appointed distinguished businessman and philanthropist, Omar McFarlane as the official Ambassador for the Under-17 Reggae Boyz, as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers scheduled to begin next year.

McFarlane has strong ties to Jamaica and Florida, where he founded the renowned Champion Football Club in South Florida. Champion is a non-profit travel football club that focuses on providing Jamaican youth players with opportunities to showcase their talent by competing in the Florida travel league.

In his role as Ambassador, McFarlane will play a critical part in helping to secure the necessary funding and support required for the Under-17 Reggae Boyz to excel and qualify for the age group World Cup, scheduled for 2025 in Qatar. His dedication to youth development and football excellence makes him an ideal candidate to support the young talents representing Jamaica on the international stage.

McFarlane shared his enthusiasm for the role.

"I am honoured to be appointed as the Ambassador for the U17 Reggae Boyz. I am committed to leveraging my connections and resources to ensure that our young players have the best opportunities to succeed and make Jamaica proud on the world stage,” he said.

The President of the Jamaica Football Federation, Michael Ricketts expressed gratitude for McFarlane's willingness to support the Under-17 Reggae Boyz.

"We are thrilled to have Omar on board as our Ambassador for the U17 team. His passion for football and dedication to youth development align perfectly with our goals for the national youth programme. We look forward to working together to achieve great success,” Ricketts stated.

The JFF and the Under-17 Reggae Boyz are excited about the prospects of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and are confident that with McFarlane's support and sports loving fans, the team will reach new heights in international football.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts saluted Reggae Girl and Manchester City striker Khadija “Bunny” Shaw on her latest accomplishment of being voted the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Women’s Player of the Year for the 2023-24 season.

Shaw won the women’s Footballer of the Year award with 80 per cent of the voters opting for either the Manchester City striker or Chelsea’s Lauren James. James finished runner-up with another Manchester City standout Alex Greenwood finishing third. Yui Hasegawa, Elisabeth Terland and Khiara Keating completed the top six.

In a release on Friday, Ricketts pointed out that the award spoke volumes of Shaw's impact on Manchester City's Women's Super League charge, as she has been a model of consistency since joining the Gareth Taylor-coached club in 2021. Her performances have placed Manchester City on the brink of securing their first WSL title since 2016.

“This award is a beautiful feather in her cap and a massive advertisement for Jamaica’s football,” Ricketts said.


“I am happy to see the consistency in quality shown by Khadija. She has always been a top player, but her standard has risen a notch this season. This augurs well for the national team in the future. We wish her all the best on the road to recovery,” he added.

Prior to Shaw sustaining a broken foot during her last Women’s Super League match against West Ham, the Reggae Girls captain scored 21 goals, which were complemented by three assists in 18 games this season.

Shaw is the third Jamaican-born individual to have won the award after John Barnes (1987-88, 1989-90) and Raheem Sterling in 2019.

However, she is the first national representative to receive the honour, as both Barnes and Sterling were England internationals when they earned the recognition.

Michael Ricketts, the President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), remains hopeful that the ongoing issues between the association and Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey will be resolved soon.

Bailey was dropped from the national team after breaking curfew prior to a crucial Nations League semi-final against the United States in late March. Subsequently, Bailey, speaking on the ‘Let’s Be Honest’ podcast, aired his grievances publicly, criticizing the JFF's professionalism and citing reasons for taking a self-imposed break from international football.

In response, the JFF issued a detailed statement refuting Bailey’s allegations.

On Thursday, Ricketts expressed regret over the situation and emphasized the player's past dedication to representing Jamaica on the field.

"I just think it is so very unfortunate and I hope he really doesn’t mean what he is saying," said Ricketts. "He probably was a little bit upset but we are hoping that things will settle down because he has given his all for his country.

“I remember, I think it was after the Canada (in the Nations League quarter-final) game that he came up to me and said ‘President, you know every time I go on the field I try to do my best because I am representing my country’ and I guess he felt bad because he didn’t do as well as people were expecting.

“And when he said that to me, I just thought that here is somebody, who it might not be working for him then but his heart is in the right place.

“I remember years ago, (West Indies cricket great) Viv Richards was going through a bad patch and when he was interviewed he said that you lose form but you don’t lose class and if you have the class the form will come back and I am just hoping that these issues and these utterances from Bailey will, sooner rather than later, be sorted out and that we can re-establish a proper relationship.”

However, Ricketts expressed concern over the tendency of airing internal grievances in public, particularly given the widespread reach of social media.

"I really don’t think he (Bailey) had an issue that had to be played out in the public," Ricketts remarked. "It’s just unfortunate and we are just hopeful that we will be able to sort these things out and have them amicably settled rather than going public because social media, it’s all over the world. So whatever you say or do the whole world will know."

Despite the current challenges, Ricketts expressed optimism about restoring a positive relationship with Bailey in time for upcoming national team activities.

"We are hoping that the coach (Heimir Halgrimsson) will work this out," Ricketts concluded. "I know the coach really wants to have this sorted out quickly. He is very disappointed but at the same time he is very optimistic that he will get it sorted out soon."

The JFF remains committed to addressing and resolving any issues with Bailey to ensure a harmonious working relationship moving forward. Jamaica will begin its World Cup campaign against the Dominican Republic on June 6 at the National Stadium in Kingston. Their next match will be against Dominica in Dominica on June 9.


 Following Jamaica’s historic performances in the CONCACAF Nations League Finals in Dallas with a third-place finish recently, the Reggae Boyz have moved in the latest editions of the FIFA Rankings and the CONCACAF Rankings Index. In the CONCACAF Rankings Index, the Reggae Boyz moved up from sixth to fifth as Jamaica gained 92 quality points, the most by any team in CONCACAF in the latest index.

In the April 2024 edition of the FIFA World Rankings, Jamaica moved up from 57th to 55th. Jamaica also remains number one in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU).

President of the Jamaica Football Federation Michael Ricketts is delighted with these movements, stating, “We are certainly pleased to see our national team move up in the CONCACAF and FIFA Rankings respectively. For the first time in our history we landed on the podium in the CONCACAF Nations League and now we eagerly anticipate the busy summer that lies ahead.
Again we are proud of the Boyz and we look forward to them continuing to move up in the rankings.”

The Reggae Boyz will open their account in World Cup Qualifying on June 6 at home against the Dominican Republic before facing Dominica away on June 9. The 2024 edition of the Copa America is slated to run from June 20 to July 14.

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honorable Olivia Grange, has congratulated Michael Ricketts on his re-election as Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President.

Ricketts has been returned to the presidency of the Jamaica Football Federation following elections held in Negril, Hanover on Sunday.

He defeated challenger Raymond Anderson 39-17 in the vote count that was completed at the Royalton Resort in Negril, shortly before 5 pm Sunday.

Ricketts, who has been president since 2017, will now serve a second full term at the helm, after riding out the buffeting winds of controversy most of which centered around the fallout between Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz and the administration over alleged unpaid fees and general disrespect.

Minister Grange said, “I anticipate an early meeting with the new administration to hear of the plans for the Federation going forward.”

“I believe differences should be put aside and that the focus should be on what is best in the interest of the further progress of Jamaica’s football, in both the men and women’s game. The mantra should be renewal, recommitment and repair. Let us all work together, there is much more still to be done.”

In the wake of his successful re-election as president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) on Sunday, Michael Ricketts is poised to lead the charge in revitalizing football in Jamaica. Ricketts and his team secured victory in the elections held at the Royalton Regency in Negril, defeating Raymond Anderson and his RSA team with a vote tally of 39-17.

Reflecting on his campaign and victory, Ricketts while speaking with Sportsmax.TV, expressed both gratitude for the support received and a cautious optimism about the road ahead. He was also confident of victory.

"Let me first say thanks to the Father up above, who would have given me the mental strength to have gone through this campaign, which was terrible but I have so much to be thankful for. We had always canvassed the numbers and we were almost spot on because we had a meeting two days ago and we came out 40-16, so we would have lost one of those votes and it ended up at 39-17,” he stated.

As he looked ahead, Ricketts said his new administration would be looking to right some of the wrongs made during his previous administration.

“We have always been confident but guarded in our utterances. We would have made mistakes so the onus is now on us to ensure that we put some corrective measures in place as we try to move the football forward," Ricketts remarked, highlighting the need for prudence and diligence in addressing past shortcomings.

In his commitment to effecting positive change, Ricketts disclosed plans for reform within the JFF's leadership structure. Notably, he announced that Raymond Anderson would not be returning as a vice president in his administration. Instead, Ricketts introduced new vice presidents, including Gregory Daley, Elaine Walker-Brown, and Barry Watson, while also welcoming Rudolph Speid and Bruce Gaynor as ordinary members to the now 11-member board.

Addressing a pressing issue, Ricketts provided an update on the ongoing dispute with the senior Reggae Girlz over unpaid fees. He expressed optimism about recent developments, indicating progress towards resolution.

"Well, their representative has actually written to say that the girls have now agreed that we have paid them in full so I hope that that is the start of the process of rebuilding that relationship and getting these players to represent this beautiful land of ours," Ricketts affirmed, signaling a positive step forward in the effort to mend fences with the national team players.

Looking ahead to the future of Jamaican football, Ricketts pledged to engage stakeholders and pursue growth opportunities within the sport. Emphasizing the importance of collaboration and inclusivity, he underscored his commitment to working with individuals dedicated to advancing football in Jamaica.

"Our new committees will be put in place before this week ends and the work starts immediately. During this campaign period, I would have come across some persons who seriously have an interest in growing the sport. We will definitely be engaging some of these persons as we try to improve the brand and to grow football," Ricketts concluded

Michael Ricketts has been returned to the presidency of the Jamaica Football Federation following elections held in Negril, Hanover on Sunday. Ricketts defeated challenger Raymond Anderson 39-17 in the vote count that was completed at the Royalton Resort in Negril, shortly before 5 pm Sunday.

Ricketts, who has been president since 2017, will now serve a second full term at the helm, after riding out the buffeting winds of controversy most of which centred around the fallout between Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz and the administration over alleged unpaid fees and general disrespect.

His slate is comprised of St Catherine FA President Elaine Walker-Brown, St James FA President Gregory Daley, Portland FA President Raymond Grant, and Manchester FA President Barry Watson. JFF Vice-President Bruce Gaynor and JFF Technical Committee Chairman Rudolph Speid are also part of Ricketts’s slate as ordinary directors.

Carole Beckford of Team RSA, Anderson's slate in commenting on the loss, stated, "39-17 suggests that the delegates voted in an overwhelmingly strong position to retain Mr Ricketts and his team, whether or that constitutes a failure (of Anderson's slate) is yet to be seen. However, I think we have ruffled enough feathers that people need to understand that football is not governed the way it should be to attract the kind of attention and sponsorship that is required. There are enough people on the RSA team that are still very much involved in their clubs, executives and in different formats and committees and Mr Ricketts says he will reach out to people, so let's see how that works.

"There are some very important years to come for football for Jamaica. This week is the Gold Cup competition. Football never stops, the election has just been part of the process our team lost and we will continue to support the development of football in Jamaica."

It is unclear at this time whether Anderson plans to continue as a JFF vice president.



As the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) stands on the brink of potentially pivotal elections for its presidency, Raymond Anderson, a current vice president of the JFF and challenger to incumbent Michael Ricketts, has made a groundbreaking announcement. Anderson revealed that he has secured sponsorship amounting to JMD$49 million dollars, which will enable a JFF under his leadership to pay monthly salaries of JMD$300,000 to general secretaries and parish presidents.

Anderson's move is seen as a significant step towards professionalizing football administration at the parish level. In response to inquiries about the timing and authenticity of the sponsorship, Anderson dismissed any notion of election gimmicks, stating that he has seen the cheque for the first month's salary, signed and ready to be handed over to the new JFF administration.

Addressing concerns about the sponsorship's origin, Anderson disclosed that the businessman behind the sponsorship hails from rural Jamaica and is involved in a non-traditional emerging sector. Emphasizing the need for inclusivity beyond Kingston, Anderson's marketing team has been engaging businesses across the island.

The timing of the sponsorship, Anderson explained, was influenced by recent controversies surrounding the voters' list and the denial of access to delegate names. He expressed confidence in his campaign's progress, noting his outreach to prospective delegates from clubs and parishes previously aligned with Ricketts.

The vision shared by Anderson and the sponsor encompasses professionalizing parish football associations, with designated opening hours and a general secretary operating on a flexible 40-hour work week. Monthly reporting requirements and the promotion of both men's and women's football at various age groups are also integral to their plan. Anderson envisions a future where football administrators can proudly identify their profession and present their pay slip with confidence, reflecting a new era of professionalism within Jamaican football administration.

As the JFF elections loom, Anderson's sponsorship announcement signals a potential shift towards greater accountability and professionalism within the federation, setting the stage for transformative change in Jamaican football.



The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) election is set to face another delay, as the country’s governing football body has been served a notice of appeal filed on behalf of Patricia Garel as President of Beach Soccer Jamaica.

This follows a recent Supreme Court ruling that denied an application for the continuation of the temporary injunction, which initially barred the elections from proceeding on January 14.

That application was denied on the basis that the applicants, Garel and Beach Soccer Jamaica, did not establish that they are an affiliate or member of the JFF. As a result, the court ruled that there was no serious issue to be tried by the court.

However, instead of heading to an Elective Congress, the parties are headed back to court as Garel, whose initially application in the Supreme Court sought an order to compel the JFF to allow Beach Soccer to participate in the election of officers as the entity representing beach football in Jamaica, has appealed against the recent ruling.

Still, the JFF in a release says it remains confident in securing a favorable decision on the appeal.

“The JFF is on course to set a new date for Elective Congress, in order to ensure that the members are not disenfranchised,” the JFF statement noted.

With this latest move said to be in violation of the JFF Constitution and the FIFA Statutes, incumbent Michael Ricketts, who has been at the helm since 2017, expressed his discontent with the court action.

Ricketts stated that he is “opposed to the action, especially as it goes against the provisions of the JFF Constitution and the FIFA Statutes and is a deliberate attempt to deny the legitimate members a right to exercise their vote for the development of football in Jamaica and for Jamaicans.”

Meanwhile, vice-president Raymond Anderson, who is challenging Ricketts for the post, declined to comment on the matter.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is now in the process of setting a new election date, after the Supreme Court denied an application for the continuation of the temporary injunction, which initially barred the proceedings.

It is understood that the application was denied on the basis that the applicants, Patricia Garel and Beach Soccer Jamaica, did not establish that they are an affiliate or member of the JFF. As a result, the court ruled that there is no serious issue to be tried by the court.

"This has been the position of the JFF, and we are pleased that the way is now cleared for us to set the new election date, which will be determined by the Board," the JFF said in a statement on Friday.

The initial January 14 election date set by the JFF was thrown out the window when Garel filed the application in the Supreme Court seeking an order to compel the JFF to allow Beach Soccer to participate in the election of officers as the entity representing beach football in Jamaica.

Garel, in the application which was filed this week, contends that in 2022 the respondent, JFF, promulgated a new constitution and article 12 stipulates that Beach Soccer Jamaica is one of the affiliates under pillar 3 of the constitution.

By virtue of that promulgation under article 12, Beach Soccer became a member of the JFF and was so treated.

Subsequent to the promulgation of the constitution, Garel said recognition was given to Beach Soccer when the respondent invited Beach Soccer to send three representatives to the congress on September 24 last year, which is reflected in the minutes of the JFF.

The injunction was granted but expired today.

Incumbent Michael Ricketts, who has been at the helm since 2017, is being challenged by vice-president Raymond Anderson for the presidency.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Presidential Election has been delayed by at least 28 days.

The elections were scheduled for Sunday, January 14 at Rusea’s High School in Hanover.

The postponement is due to an injunction granted by the Supreme Court following an appeal made on behalf of Beach Soccer Jamaica, the Jamaica Football Referees Association and Intercol Jamaica to become registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ).

The COJ registration would allow those parties ratification to become delegates ahead of the election.

Incumbent Michael Ricketts is being challenged by JFF First-Vice President Raymond Anderson. Ricketts has been in office as President since September 2017.


Too often, we wait until our pioneers are gone before we shower them with the praise they deserve.

The Jamaica Football Federation ensured this wouldn’t be the case on Monday when they held a ceremony honoring four stalwarts of football in Jamaica at the federation’s headquarters.

The first set of honorees included Geoffrey Maxwell, Leander Marshall, Everton “Bob West” McLeary and Allan “Skill” Cole.

According to Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts, this initiative was long overdue and is one that he plans to do annually.

“We really want to use this opportunity to express my personal views and those of the JFF. We would have previously planned similar exercises which really did not work out as we would’ve liked and we took a decision that we would select four or five persons annually,” he said.

“Here we are today showing our love and appreciation for the commitment, love, loyalty and the level of entertainment that these players and administrators have given to the sport,” he added.

Ricketts explained that this initiative is a part of the JFF’s efforts to re-connect with past players.

“The JFF is intent on ensuring that we re-establish a relationship with our past players and persons who would have given support to football over the years,” he said.

“Those were the days when service to sport, and especially football, was straight volunteerism,” he added.

Geoffrey Maxwell represented Jamaica as a defender before transitioning into coaching.

He guided Excelsior High to one Manning Cup title and two Walker Cup titles in the 1980s and also coached Waterhouse to the National League trophy in 1998.

Schoolboy football apart, Maxwell coached at the club level with Santos, Waterhouse, Harbour View, Tivoli Gardens, Arnett Gardens, St George's SC, the JDF, and Maverley/Hughenden, among others.

Leander Marshall served as president of the Portmore Football League for over 30 years.

Everton “Bob West” McLeary was a respected administrator to the JFF 30 years ago and sponsored a football competition holding his name. This was part of the KSAFA ecosystem.

Prior to his post at the JFF, he served as a Journalist and a Policeman. He was seriously injured after being knocked down by a vehicle when he was on his motorcycle on Mountain View Avenue in 1994.

Unfortunately, as a result of this accident and the head injuries he sustained, he wasn’t the same. McLeary helped to improve the quality of administration and getting things in place even when resources were not there. McLeary is currently at a nursing home in Manchester.

Allan “Skill” Cole is widely regarded as Jamaica’s greatest ever footballer.

At the peak of his powers, Cole was a midfield maestro local fans compared to Pele. He remains the Jamaica's youngest senior football international, donning national colors against a Brazilian team when he was only 15 years old.

In addition to his local exploits, Cole represented the Atlanta Chiefs in the NASL and Nautico in Brazil.

“First I want to thank the federation for honoring us,” Cole said on behalf of the honorees.

“I cherish these things because I remember in the early days when we were playing football and we didn’t get any form of honor. You see schoolboys today getting citations, plaques and all these things when they score goals, we didn’t get those things. The game has evolved and that is very good” he added.

Cole, who has had his fair share of health issues, made the point that people must be honored more while they are living.

“Honor us before we die. Don’t wait until we die before you honor us. It’s sad and it happens all over the country. Let a man live in his glory,” he said.


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