By Neto Baptiste
Former national striker and prolific goal-scorer, Derrick “Pretty Boy” Edwards, who was famously referred to as “Number four bound to score” because of the number he carried on his jersey and his knack for scoring goals, was not always charged with putting the ball into the back of the opponent’s net.
As a matter of a fact, he started his national team career trying to do the complete opposite, having represented Antigua and Barbuda as a goalkeeper at the youth level.
“I started at the under-19 level [as a goalkeeper] and carried Antigua to a finals in Trinidad in 1986; so I started off in the goal [but] the competition at the time was a little bit tough in the goal because you had Wesley Dyer and Francis from Jennings who were the two goalkeepers, and I was the third string, but I think that at the end of the day and seeing all those easy goals that those guys were letting in, I thought I could do a better job but I had to hang the gloves up and take the boots on,” he said.
Edwards, who has represented the twin-island state at all levels, including coaching, remembers however, that it was following a chance opportunity in Jennings when he became known for his goal-scoring abilities.
“I think I got my breakthrough in the First Division against Jennings when one player who was eligible to start but didn’t get off from work because he worked at Brysons, and they started me that game and I scored two goals in that game and that was it,” he said.
Edwards scored 59 goals in 63 matches at the international level while also winning several scoring titles at the national level.