Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Delapenha hailed as Ja's greatest ever football

Published:Friday | January 27, 2017 | 1:00 AMMarc Stamp

Lloyd Lindberg 'Lindy' Delapenha was described as an outstanding sportsman following news of his passing yesterday morning.

Delapenha, the first Jamaican footballer to play professionally in England, died at 6 a.m. at the home of his daughter Marie Claire. He was 89.

Former national football striker and Allie McNab said Delapenha was by far Jamaica's greatest footballer.

"Lindy's life was more than being a footballer. He was a sportsman and a personality," McNab told The Gleaner yesterday.

"The black people in England owe Lindy great gratitude for breaking the black barrier. He was the least paid at the time but one of the best. He received a lot of accolades. He was not only a great footballer but also cricketer and golfer and track and field athlete. He chose football over cricket as a career," McNab added.

Clyde Jureidini, general manager of Harbour View FC, also described Delapenha as a great footballer.

"He broke barriers. I worked with him at JBC and he always shared his knowledge. It was a honour to know Lindy as he set standards. He will be greatly missed," Jureidini disclosed.

Minister of Sport Olivia 'Babsy' Grange expressed sadness at the death of the allround sports personality.

"It is with deep sadness that I learnt this morning of the passing of the outstanding Jamaican sportsman Lloyd Lindberg 'Lindy' Delapenha," Grange said in a release.

"His exploits on the football field earned him induction into the American Black Caucus Hall of Fame. Lindy was also a fine golfer who represented Jamaica for many years in the Hoerman Cup Caribbean competition," she added.

Delapenha who attended both Munro College and Wolmer's Boys School was an outstanding schoolboy athlete who played almost every sport.

It was while serving with the British armed forces following World War II that he was spotted by an English football scout playing football for the army.

This gained him a trial with Arsenal but he did not sign for the club, and in April 1948 he joined Portsmouth. It was there that he became the first Jamaican to play professional football in England.

He went on to win a league championship medal with Portsmouth in 1948. In April 1950, after a successful time with Portsmouth, he went to Middlesbrough where his career took off. Lindy who was at his best on the wing or centre forward, was 'Bo leading scorer in the 1951-52, 1953-54 and 1955-56 seasons. Overall he slammed in 93 league and FA Cup goals in 270 appearances.

He moved to Mansfield Town in June 1958 where he was also a prolific scorer in his two years there before retiring from League football in 1960. He then went to non-league football for three years before moving back to Jamaica and a job as director of sports at the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation.

Professional

football career

n 1948-50 Portsmouth

n 1950-58 Middlesbrough

n 1958-60 Mansfield Town

n 1960 Hereford United

n 1964 Burton Albion