Establishing Community


Sport played a pivotal role in bringing the Caribbean community together in Derby. From early events in the 1960s to relax and forge relations, to becoming a platform for the community to be recognised for their many achievements by the 1990s. Local netball, cricket, and football teams were formed with strong connections to Derby West Indian Association through membership and as a place to meet and to celebrate successes.


Cricket was the first sport to be taken up by the community with the Derby Caribs Cricket team being formed by young men from Jamaica and Barbados, such as Ken Reid, Charles Hill, and Alf Mclean.  By the 1970s they had first and seconds senior teams, and under sixteen teams playing in a National Caribbean league and the local county leagues.

Derby Caribs evolved and during the late 1970s Crusaders Sports was formed with football, netball and cricket teams. The cricket teams were all very successful, playing across the county and winning many trophies including the prestigious Butterley Cup.  

Key players of the time included Ses MacDonald, Everton Haslam, Glen Edwards and Vernal Cooper. 


Football was the next sport to establish itself within the community, with two prominent teams, Caribbean Allstars and Rainbow Athletic, playing in the Derby Sunday leagues in the 1970s and 80s. They regularly won leagues and cup competitions, including Rainbow Athletic going unbeaten and completing a treble in 1983.

The teams had some of the best players in Derby at the time and in another period would have seen some become full-time professionals. These included Lloyd Richards who played professionally for Notts County, and others who played at semi-professional level such as Donald Wilkinson, Dave Cooper, and Kenton Black. 


Up to the late 1970s netball for young Black girls was limited to schools and within majority white teams. The establishment of Crusaders Sports provided an opportunity for more girls of Caribbean heritage to play locally and, in conjunction with DWIA, travel to places like Birmingham and London to play other Caribbean teams.

The netball teams were very successful and included fantastic local players such as Anita Robinson, Beverley Cooper, Sharon Dale, Sharon Scott, Yvonne Rule and Hazel Wright. 

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    Michael Holding

    One of the greatest - and fastest - bowlers ever to play the game. Jamaican-born Michael Holding joined Derbyshire in 1983 as an overseas player, remaining with the club until he took 249 Test match wickets for the West Indies and in 178 matches for Derbyshire, took 378 wickets - including a then world one day record of 8-21 against Sussex at Hove in 1988. The original scorebook is here on display. Hear from Michael in the Establishing Community Oral History Station. Scorebook and Pictures on loan from Derbyshire County Cricket Club.

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    Devon Malcolm

    Malcolm was born in Jamaica but Derbyshire discovered him bowling fast in the Yorkshire League for Sheffield United in the early 1980s. A bowler of raw pace, he was carefully managed by Derbyshire's captain and coach throughout the 1980s, as he developed into a magnificent match-winner, not just for Derbyshire, but also for England, for whom he took 9-57 against South Africa at The Oval in 1994. In 289 matches for Derbyshire he took 753 wickets. He played 40 Test matches for England.

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    Charles Ollivierre

    Britain's first Black County Cricketer, Charles Ollivierre, played 110 matches for Derbyshire scoring 4,670 runs with a highest score of 229. His match aggregate of 321 runs (229 and 92) against Essex, at Chesterfield in 1904, has only been exceeded once in the county's history and was a Derbyshire record for over 100 years. Hear about him in the Establishing Community Oral History Station. Scorecard and Pictures on loan from Derbyshire County Cricket Club.

Oral histories