Date:Thursday August 23 2007
It looks as though former Pompey keeper Shaka Hislop is about to call time on his playing career due to back problems.
My understanding is that the 38 year old has been troubled with a back injury on and off for a couple of years now - with back spasms having kept him out of the FC Dallas team for the past month and was likely to trouble him for the rest of the American MLS season so he has been granted early retirement.
Hislop first came to prominence with Reading in the early '90's and after several years of high quality performances for the club Newcastle brought him into the Premiership. He was part of Newcastle's most successful period in recent years, before he moved onto West Ham.
Harry Redknapp convinced him to drop down a division in 2002 and with his help we gained promotion to the promised land of the Premiership by winning the Division One title in his first season with us.
Until he came under pressure from Jamie Ashdown he was untouchable. He duelled with him until he was finally disposed of with the clown that was Konstantinos Chalkias taking over in goal. How on earth the Greek keeper could have been seen as better than Ashdown, let alone Hislop I still do not know.
Hislop was released by Pompey in 2005 and although I believe he signed for Palace, he was almost immediately released from his contract and re-joined West Ham. He was expected to be their understudy by enjoyed a fruitful season with the newly promoted side, playing 16 matches.
After the 2005/06 season, during the summer of 2006 he left England to finish his career in the States, unfortunately injury appears to have ended it differently to how he would have obviously wanted.
Although he could have played for England and was called up to squads in the 90's as he did not actually play he eventually represented his native Trinidad.
Criminally he only won 26 caps for them, but the pinnacle of his career came with his country last summer when he represented Trinidad at the World Cup Finals in Germany, playing in all 3 of his countries matches performing brilliantly.
I always rated Hislop, before and after his time with Pompey and still feel he was discarded before his time. He is a top bloke and was a top keeper that I will always have a lot of time for so I wish him nothing but the best for the future.
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Date:Thursday August 23 2007
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