By Carlena Knight
Former sports administrator Stanfield “Shipwreck” Joseph says, despite the many accolades he has received over the years, the most impactful reward for him was seeing the mark he left on so many young men.
Joseph was single-handedly responsible for the Shipwreck Youth League which ran from 1982 to 2000 and saw over 200 youth footballers compete over the years. It was through this league that a number of national players were birthed.
“To see all those guys come through and be big man, married and still remember me, respect me, it’s a blessing,” he said. “You know they don’t pass me anywhere, all over the world even when I go to America they always say ‘we just a talk about you Shipwreck, everyday we talk about you’ and remind me about the league and so.”
One of those former players is Derrick “Pretty Boy” Edwards who is a former national player turned national coach. Edwards is presently the head coach of the Grenades Football Club.
“Let me give you your flowers now that you are alive because what you did for all of us, as young men, you saved a lot of us from going to you know where and because of that Shipwreck league we spent our time on the field and put our time into good use but let me say Shipwreck meant so much to me growing up,” Edwards said.
“If you look on the national team, you will see that from the 80s come right back down to when he stopped in 2000, every one of us can put up our hand and say Shipwreck league was the stamping ground for us to where we reached in our careers, educational wise, sporting wise and look he is supposed to be a national hero.”
Another one of those young men is George “Kajawawa” Warner. Warner was also a national player back in his day and turned to coaching. He has coached a number of youth national teams as well as club teams. He is presently the head coach of the First Division team, the Blue Jays.
“Shipwreck had a team where he took to St Kitts myself and several others and basically we were never hungry and he didn’t have any money but every day we would go to the restaurant and eat.
“Shipwreck was the first guy to me give me a boots. The boots that he gave to me he said he got it from Paul Davis. At the time those guys used to have old boots and Shipwreck would take them and fixed them, brought them and then shared them out. It was one of the biggest gifts I ever got ‘til up to now I can stand up here and talk about it.
“Let me say again thanks to you Shipwreck for all the things you have taught me so let me say well done Wrecker for keeping me on the right path,” Warner added.