For such a small part of the world, Bradford City’s history with the countries in the Caribbean is rich, to say the least.
In fact, such a large number of players have come from that part of the world, that this particular instalment of our Bantams Worldwide series has been broken off into two sections. One covers the extensive number of players with Jamaican roots/international records, while this particular instalment is about the players to come from other parts of the Caribbean – including one or two areas which are constantly debated about their presence among the Caribbean islands.
Barbados – Mark McCammon
(#1076, 4 apps, 2010)
A well-travelled player throughout the majority of his career, former Gillingham and Brighton striker arrived at Bradford on loan in February 2010, despite reportedly having reservations about stepping down to join a League Two side, which City were at the time.
Despite being in London, McCammon was already a Barbados international by the time he made his City debut. In all, he played five times for his country, scoring four goals – including a hat-trick in the 7-1 win over Anguilla in 2006, which is Barbados’ biggest-ever win.
He made his debut against Darlington on February 27th, 2010, and went on to make a further three appearances for City without scoring before returning to parent club Gillingham.
Bermuda – Nahki Wells
(#1112, 112 apps, 53 goals, 2011-14)
Had it not been for the presence of one or two greats from a different generation, Nahki Wells would almost certainly be regarded as Bradford City’s greatest overseas player given his contribution to the club.
The signing of Wells by manager Peter Jackson in the summer of 2011 ruffled few feathers. He arrived having just been released by Carlisle, and he didn’t even make his league debut until November that year. Thereafter, however, his career took off.
The arrival of Phil Parkinson coincided with Wells’ formation of a deadly partnership with James Hanson which would subsequently become legendary. He scored 12 times in his first season, prompting City to hand him a new deal. The next year, the infamous history-making campaign of 2012-13, he scored 26 times.
The step up to League One saw him score eight goals in his first seven league games, which inevitably saw the vultures circle. And, in January 2014, Wells left for West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield. His career has not slowed since then.
Dominica – Joe Cooke
(#654, 303 apps, 79 goals, 1971-79)
Born in Dominica, Joe Cooke arrived at Bradford City in 1970 a teenager. He left almost a decade later an icon. Had the island gained independence earlier than 1978, his international career may too have been as notorious.
One of only a handful of players to make over 300 appearances for Bradford City in all competitions, Cooke thrived for the Bantams at both ends of the pitch, becoming notorious for his ability as both a centre-half and a striker.
Despite spending large periods of his time at City in defence, he still finished with a goals-to-game ratio of around one in four, which is impressive given his positional versatility and the amount of games he played. He returned to City in 1982 for another three seasons, before finishing his professional career with Rochdale and Wrexham.
Grenada – Delroy Facey
(#952, 6 apps, 1 goal, 2002)
Delroy Facey grew up down the road from Bradford in Huddersfield, but he was reportedly eligible to represent a number of nations in the Caribbean region due to family heritage.
He eventually opted to play for Grenada after receiving a call-up in 2009, some seven years on from his brief spell as a Bantam. Facey joined on loan in November 2002, becoming one of the elite club to score on their Bradford City debut when he netted against Wimbledon.
That would be the only time Facey scored in his six games for City though, eventually returning to Bolton. In all, he represented Grenada on 15 occasions, scoring twice.
Saint Kitts and Nevis – Ces Podd
(#647, 568 apps, 4 goals, 1970-84)
Ces Podd is the greatest overseas player Bradford City have ever had. In fact, he’s one of the club’s finest players irrespective of nationality.
Born in Saint Kitts and Nevis, Podd made his debut on the 26th September, 1970 against Chesterfield. He would serve the Bantams with unrivalled distinction for fourteen years thereafter, finishing as the club’s all-time record appearance holder.
On 502 occasions, Podd played league football for Bradford City FC. To put that into context, only three men – Ian Cooper, John Hall and Bruce Stowell – reached 400 league appearances. It is an astonishing number.
In total, Podd racked up 568 appearances in all competitions before leaving for Halifax Town in 1984. He is, without doubt, a true Bradford City legend.
West Indies – Wingrove Manners
(#663, 1 app, 1972)
In City’s game against Bolton Wanderers on the 10th May, 1972, West Indian-born Wingrove Manners became the 66th player to make his one and only appearance for the Bantams.