Sat, Jul

Shaka the legend

For a man who hasn’t played any form of football for the last two years, Shaka Hislop has made some remarkable saves at the British Airways Tobago Legends Challenge, which ended yesterday in Tobago.

The former Trinidad and Tobago international goalkeeper was one of 64 former footballers in Tobago for the Legends Challenge, an international six-a-side tournament played among former Britain-based professionals.

Now an ESPN analyst, Hislop said he had never foreseen going into the broadcasting profession during his playing days. He doesn’t consider himself a professional broadcaster, but “speaks” football as he knows it.

Now 46, Hislop expected everything to be hard during the Legends Challenge, but confessed that his competitive nature is still there. In Tobago, Hislop played with the Professional All Stars team along with Pierre Von Hooijdonk, Paul Sharner and Jamaicans Ricardo Gardner and Ian Goodison. Hislop was called upon to make several good saves in a 1-0 defeat to the Chelsea team on Saturday.

As a professional, Hislop had a 14-year contract in England and played for four clubs beginning with Reading in 1992. Hislop also had two West Ham stints and also played for Premier League Portsmouth and Newcastle United before ending his professional playing career in 2007 with Dallas United in the United States.

Born in Hackney, England, to Trinidad and Tobago parents, Hislop mostly grew up in Trinidad and Tobago where he excelled for CIC in the Colleges Football League before going to the USA on a College scholarship. Hislop was also both a T&T and England Under-21 youth international, before making his international senior debut for Trinidad and Tobago in 1998. He played matches for Trinidad and Tobago against Sweden, England and Paraguay at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.