By Neto Baptiste
National hero, and one of four knighted former cricketers, Sir Vivian Richards, is supporting calls for a similar accolade to be bestowed upon community activist and sports administrator, Stanfield “Shipwreck” Joseph.
Sir Viv, who was knighted alongside other former national and West Indies cricketers, Sir Curtly Ambrose, Sir Andy Roberts and Sir Richie Richardson in 2014, believes that Joseph is more than deserving of the accolade.
“I am just calling to air my sentiments from all the words that have been said, and what you guys would have also uttered for the wreck [Stanfield ‘Shipwreck’ Joseph], and we’ve had a motto over the years which says ‘he who knows the way leads the way, go all the way’ and for Shipwreck, the people have spoken, and I will leave it at that, but I would love Shipwreck to be on my left hand or right hand side,” he said.
Sir Viv’s call followed a slew of requests that Joseph be knighted for his outstanding contributions to sports and the development of young players at both the community and national levels.
Joseph was also responsible for the popular Shipwreck Football League which ran from 1982 to 2000 and aided in the development of a generation of players.
Sir Viv who scored 8540 Test runs at an average of 50.2, was recently voted as English county cricket’s greatest overseas player by BBC Sport users.
The “Master Blaster” said the feat was not a personal achievement but rather a national one.
“When these things happen I only look at the country in itself, and especially with some of the things we are going through and even people like Curtly Ambrose and the contribution of Andy Roberts, we have represented this country well,” he said.
Sir Viv, now 68, represented Somerset and Glamorgan in the English domestic game and was named as the best overseas player at both counties when BBC Sport ran votes for each individual county side in May.