Wed | Jan 16, 2019

King says no to Reggae Boyz

Published:Monday | November 5, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Marlon King - file

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

... Quits international football amidst attempts to mend broken relationship with coaches

Striker Marlon King is walking away from international football, ending hopes that he would play a part in Jamaica's push for qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

King, whose return to the programme was a major point of focus for a Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) delegation consisting of President Captain Horace Burrell, head coach Theodore Whitmore and his assistant Alfredo Montesso now in England, thanked the Jamaican public for their support throughout his fractious international career, while calling time on his run with the Reggae Boyz.

"It is with the deepest regret that I Marlon King have today decided to retire myself from international football," read a statement sent to The Gleaner by his agent Tony Finnigan. "I would also like to thank the Jamaican public and my fans for their support and wish the squad the very best in achieving World Cup qualification."

"I have always given my all to the Jamaican football team and have some very fond memories of my achievements within the squad," the statement added.

No stranger to controversy, King, who has had 14 separate convictions ranging from drunk driving to assault occasioning bodily harm - an offence that landed him an 18-month jail sentence in 2008, also received an 18-month sentence in 2002 for receiving stolen goods.

His problems did not stop there, however, with a string of run-ins with the JFF hierarchy spoiling an international career that boasts an average of one goal every other game.

The striker made his first appearance for Jamaica in 2004 and went on to score 12 goals in national colours - his last appearance coming in a friendly international against Panama earlier this year. King, along with Chris Humphrey, was banned for two games by the JFF for breaking team curfew, having been banned previously for two years by the Crenston Boxhill administration in 2006, after a dispute during a tour of England.

He was, however, reinstated by Burrell, shortly after his return to the JFF presidency in 2007 and the former army man was hoping to bring the striker back among the ranks once again on his latest sojourn to England.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Captain Burrell and Carl Brown for their outstanding support during my time with the JFF. They will always have my complete respect," King's statement further read.

It is that respect that Burrell was hoping would encourage King, who was ignored by Whitmore and Montesso for Jamaica's entire CONCACAF FIFA World Cup semi-final qualification campaign, to play a role in next year's final round.

Whitmore and Montesso have both publicly dismissed King's continued value to the programme, a position, which according to Finnigan, did not go down too well with the 32-year-old and may have played a part in his decision.

"The Brazilian told him that he didn't fit in the plans of the technical team, and for a player that has always scored so many goals at all levels throughout his career, that certainly did not go down too well with Marlon (King)," Finnegan told The Gleaner days ago. "The way in which it was done was also a concern."

Marlon King Fact Sheet

Convicted in 2002 for possession of stolen property

Played his first game for Jamaica in 2004.

Banned for two years by JFF (Crenston Boxhill administration) in 2006

Reinstated by JFF in 2007 (Horace Burrell administration).

Sentenced to 18 months in jail for assault in 2008.

Has scored 154 goals in 447 senior-level club games

Made his senior professional debut for Barnet in 1998

Scored 12 goals for Jamaica in 21 international appearances

Has played for Gillingham, Nottingham Forest, Leeds, Watford, Wigan, Hull, Middlesbrough, Coventry City and Birmingham City.

Has captained Jamaica's Reggae Boyz.

Has scored 7 goals in 15 appearances for Birmingham City so far this season.