Russell Latapy Personality Profile

Date Published: 

Russell Latapy ranks high among the best footballers ever produced by Trinidad and Tobago.

His name has always been synonymous with a high quality of play as extracted, in the past, by equally illustrious sons of the soil Carlton "Squeaky" Hinds, Carlton "The General" Franco, Warren Archibald, Everald 'Gally' Cummings and a host of other attacking footballers.

Latapy has been on the national scene since his days as an Under-10 footballer and has produced many a sparkling performance that has inspired onlookers to dub him "The Little Magician."

Latapy, the current national football captain, scored one of the most significant goals of his career in last Sunday's 1-0 win over Mexico in World Cup qualifying action. The Independent takes this opportunity to bring you a brief pen portrait of this mid-fielder, who among other things, has been a spokesman for MasterCard.

NAME: Russell Latapy

POSITION: Mid-fielder

DATE OF BIRTH: August 2, 1968

HOMETOWN: Laventille, Port of Spain

PREVIOUS CLUBS: Trintoc, Port Morant United (Jamaica), Academica Coimbra (Portugal), FC Porto (Portugal), Boavista (Portugal).

LEAGUE CAREER: 1994/95, Porto - 14 games, 1 goal
1995/96, Porto - 26 games, 5 goals
1996/97, Boavista - 21 games, 0 goals
1997/98, Boavista - 19 games, 1 goal
1998/99, Hibernian - 23 games, 6 goals


NATIONAL TEAMS: Senior, Under-19, Under-16

POST-SECONDARY SCHOOL: San Fernando Technical Institute

SECONDARY SCHOOL: Tranquillity Government Secondary (Port of Spain)

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Won two Portuguese League titles with FC Port (1994-95 and 1995-96) and became the first Trinidadian to appear in the European Champions' League during the second season. These achievements came more than a decade after leading San Fernando Tech to the national championship ("Big Seven") and National Intercol double in 1985, Latapy has also represented Trinidad and Tobago in two out of this country's four appearances in the Gold Cup: 1991 and 1996.

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS: Latapy has been Trinidad and Tobago Footballer of the Year on four occasions: 1983, 1985, 1989 and 1996.

CURRENT CLUB: Hibernian (Scotland)

Another of Alex McLeish's 'captures' with a pedigree that demonstrates this player has nothing to prove to anyone. Having won League and Cup winners medals in Portugal, Russell arrived at Easter Road during the 1998/99 season and quickly demonstrated just why he is a national hero in his native Trinidad and Tobago.

Recommended to Hibs by Tony Rougier, Russell quickly settled in Edinburgh. Such was his impact after arriving almost half way through the season, he was voted the Scottish division 1 Player of the Year, and later was accorded the honour of being the Edinburgh Evening News Sports Personality of the Year.

Latapy's continued superb performances in the SPL have already led to him being accorded the status of 'Legend' among a grateful Hibs support.