He’s an international footballer, childhood friend of Rihanna, and plays for a Merseyside team… it’s been a long journey from the beaches of Barbados to Blundellsands for Neil Harvey.
When the JMU Sports Journalism team descended upon Marine FC, our students were treated to an entertaining interview with the lively character plying his trade at one of Liverpool’s most distinguished non-league clubs.
Harvey, who currently captains Crosby-based Marine FC in their quest to make the Evo-Stik League Northern Premier play-offs, has six international caps for Barbados, where he spent part of his childhood.
It was here that the 28-year-old was once friendly with global singing superstar, Rihanna.
He told JMU Journalism: “Rihanna went to school with my cousin and hang around with my mates so I knew her, she lived down the road from my Nan’s. We weren’t close personal friends but I knew her and we used to talk a lot. I didn’t know she could sing though!”
Harvey has played league football before with Macclesfield Town, and was a great signing for Marine FC when they bought him two seasons ago.
He has scored two goals in six games for Barbados, and Harvey explained: “I was born in London and I spent half my childhood between England and Barbados. When I was 11 I started playing football and then when I was 17 I was called up to the senior team and stayed in Barbados for four years. I played for the U21s, the U23s and the senior team.”
Harvey, who missed a penalty during JMU Journalism’s visit to the 1-1 draw with Kendal Town, is Marine’s top scorer this season with 15 goals, and he says the Mariners are firmly focused on a play-off spot.
He said: “That result made it much harder for us, we battered them all game but couldn’t score. We have eight games left now and every game will be like a cup final if we want to make the play-offs.”