‘Shortman’s football passion ignited by being a ballboy
Former Jamaica Premier League (JPL) standout and national representative Richard 'Shortman' Edwards, who hails from the community of Olympic Gardens, believes his passion for football was ignited from a tender age when he became a ballboy at the legendary Santos Football Club.
Edwards stated that watching stalwarts like Walter Boyd and Onandi Lowe fuelled his passion further to become a footballer.
"I'm from a community called Olympic Gardens, so I grew up around footballers like Ian 'Pepe' Goodison; however, what really ignited my passion was when I made the transition to Santos, and I became a ballboy.
"Some of the guys I threw the ball to were players like Walter Boyd, Steve Green, Onandi Lowe, and Peter Cargill, just to name a few. Just watching how those guys carried themselves on the pitch made me want to be in that same space one day," Edwards stated.
Edwards, who won the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) title in 2013 with Harbour View, also won 36 caps for the senior Reggae Boyz. Known for his tough tackling and leadership qualities, Edwards stated that Vincent Earle and Jermaine Hue are easily the best players he would play against on local soil.
"Before I went to Harbour View, I played for Waterhouse, and Jermaine Hue was definitely the best player I played against. When I left Waterhouse and was playing for Harbour View, it was Vincent Earle. I always admired 'King' Earle and his attributes, and that was to protect the ball, and his vision was top-notch; so those two players are the ones that really stood out," Edwards believes.
In terms of past and present players that remind him of his playing days the most, 'Shortman' thinks Chelsea's French defensive midfielder N'golo Kante, former Real Madrid legend Claude Makelele, and AC Milan's cult hero Gennaro Gattuso are three players that stand out.