British Footballer With Nevis Roots Visits Island

Brian Deane and Joseph Parry
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Mr. Brain Deane (L) and Premier Joseph Parry.

Charlestown, Nevis
June 25, 2008

Premier of Nevis Hon. Joseph Parry registered his gratification when he met with one of the island’s outstanding sons of the soil as he welcome famed retired British professional footballer of Nevisian heritage Mr. Brian Deane on his maiden visit to the island. Mr. Deane had paid a courtesy call on the Premier at his Bath Plain Office on June 25, 2008, and indicated his interest to assist the island.

“He has indicated interest in the island, it’s the first time that he has been here and he has also indicated an interest in returning and helping to promote the island in whatever way he could.

“I am very pleased that I was able to meet him and even more pleased that he is an outstanding son of the soil. I do wish him well for the future and I expect that he will be doing some work with Nevis and Nevisians,” Mr. Parry said.

Mr. Deane, who played professional football for 21 years, was born in Chapeltown, Leeds to parents Nevisian parents (father Mr. Cedric “Macka” Deane from St. Peters and mother Mrs. Josephine Deane from Butlers). During an interview with the Department of Information on June 24, 2008, he said that he had felt it was important to visit Nevis to see where his parents had come from and how he could contribute to the Nevis community.

“For me it was important to see where my mum and dad came from, where it all started and one of the things for me would be to try and put something back into this community or even let people know here, that they might look at people on television in England and think that’s a million miles away but actually a lot of them have probably got the basic skills they need to make it at that level,” he said.

He also had some advice to youngsters who had some football skills and pointed out that there were opportunities available for them in England.

“If you are a young boy out there, don’t waste what talent and what gift you have been given. As a race of people we are very talented in athletics, in football in cricket even and for me, its very important that we carry on the tradition that we have of being up there and being respected by the coaches, the players in the football system in England and across the Caribbean.

“I know there are people who are actively looking in the Caribbean and for my part I will be making sure that they point it in the direction of Nevis. I still have my connections with the clubs in the UK and they are always looking for talent. Because there is a natural link between Nevis, St. Kitts, Jamaica all those islands and the coaches are always looking out for the talent here,” he said.

Mr. Deane noted that too often people from the Caribbean did not realize how important a role they have played in professional football in England. However there were opportunities available and the Caribbean should not be left behind the only problem was if there was no one coming through, the opportunities would dry up.

He also took the opportunity to caution budding footballers who had hopes of playing the game as a career at a professional level to not be guided by the money involved but instead for the love of the game.

“Don’t start playing football because you are chasing money, that’s a bad start because if you look at it from that point of view as a career, you won’t get that far but if you are going to be playing football because you love it and you can hold on to that enthusiasm all the way through then it’s going to able a very worthy career,” he said.

During his 21- year professional football career Mr. Deane who retired in 2005, played in the position of center forwards for Sheffield United, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Benfica, Leicester and West Ham among others. However, he has engaged at a football academy in the Ivory Coast, Africa for the past three years.

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