Life On The Line: The Derek Richardson Story

Sport/ Football / Racism

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Derek “Del’ Richardson was born in East London in 1956 to a Jamaican father (Cecil) and Welsh mother (Olive) and was blinded in one eye after a beating Cecil unleashed on him when he was 5 years old. As a burly, tall youth his footballing skills were noticed by talent scout Harry Redknapp (senior) who taught him how to play partially blind and after hard work eventually got him into the Chelsea FC youth team. It was there where he and his fourteen year old team mates encountered notorious paedophile coach, Eddie Heath. After six years at the club and after all his contemporaries had been given first team debuts except himself Del was given a lifeline by Dave Sexton who brought him to Queens Park Rangers. Del found himself in arguably one of the best teams of the 1970’s and was finally given his first team debut against Leeds United in 1978 thereby becoming Britain’s first ever black goalkeeper. Del went on have a career in the football leagues playing with Sheffield United, Coventry and ending up at Maidstone. After he retired from football Del ‘got in with the wrong crowd`’ and was charged with counterfeiting banknotes. He decided to go straight and after gaining his ‘knowledge’ as a London taxi driver has worked the streets of London ever since. Del has been married to Sue since 1978 and has two lovely daughters Laverne and Shirley.

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