Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Antigua, SAP FC and Richie Richardson

File:SAP FC.png

I recently came back from a vacation in Antigua with my wife which was sort of a postponed honeymoon (plus I was recently laid off so I have lots of free time now).  For those of you that don't know where Antigua is it is a small (108 sq miles) island in the Caribbean next to Guadeloupe and St Kitts and Nevis (wiki link here).  By far the most popular sport on the island is cricket of which I am also a big fan and some famous players have come from the island (more on that later).

We were staying at the Jolly Beach Resort which is on the west side and one day we were browsing around the shops and saw a flyer for a band that featured two famous cricket players Curtley Ambrose and Richie Richardson.  For those of you that don't know cricket I can assure you that these guys terrorised opponents in the 90s.  Curtley Ambrose (wiki link here) was a big mean mother of a fast bowler and Richie (wiki link here) was the captain of the West Indies cricket team in the 90s.  We decided to go and check out the band.  A couple of nights previous my wife and I met a young guy who worked at on the restaurants at the resort.  He gave us a couple of drinks before the bar opened and we chatted with him for a while.   I was at the bar and this guy came up to me yelling my name - it was Alvin the guy from the bar.  I bought him a couple of drinks and I asked if he knew Richie Richardson who was playing in the band.  He said just go up to him 'he's cool as shit'.  Long story short I got my photo with him and had a bit of a chat with him.  Here's a couple of funny comments he made:
'You guys really ripped us (Australia) up back in the day'
'Hey man sorry I was just doing my job' - RR
'Where's Curtley?' - I said this as he wasn't playing in the band that night
'He dissapeared' - RR

The night went on and we had more drink and my friend Alvin bought my wife and I a couple of drinks.  Now if you have been to Antigua (or many other Caribbean islands) and spent any time away from your resort you can see that there is quite a lot of poverty on the island.  I felt bad that he bought us drinks so I was wondering how to give him the money back without offending him.  I saw he was wearing a soccer shirt that I didn't recognize so I asked him where he got the shirt.  He said that it was the shirt of his local team.
'Do you want this shirt?'
'I tell you what I'll buy it off you' - I thought this would be a good way to give him some money
I slipped him $40.
'Do not let anyone where this shirt not even your future son, I was wearing this shirt the day we won the title in 2008!'

I didn't think much of the shirt until I got back (except when I got it back to the room and it stunk so bad of sweat and body odor that my wife made me wash it in the sink with shampoo).  I decided to do some research to see if Alvin was telling the truth and to find out if (a) it was a real team; and (b) did they really win the title in 2008.  A quick google search did come up with an SAP football team in Antigua and they did win the title in 2008-09 (wiki link here).  So now I have another team to support and I will be following them and the Antigua team in the future.  Look for more blog posts on SAP and the Antigua and Barbuda FA in the future.

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