Shaka Hislop was a former Goalkeeper for Trinidad and Tobago and a string of English club teams.
Shaka started his career in the USA, where his “soccer” skills earned him a scholarship to university. He studied mechanical engineering, and was thought to originally want to be a striker, though his immense physical stature saw him forced in goal.
Hislop was first brought into England after being spotted by a Reading scout, and it was at Reading where the young keeper would turn himself into a legend and achieved two promotions with the club. He was recently voted the Goalkeeper in a club elite-XI poll.
The Royals couldn’t hold on to Shaka, and he was sold to Newcastle in the summer of 1995, and in spite of a good start, he found himself playing second fiddle first to Pavel Srnicek, and then to Shay Given when he was brought to the club by Kenny Dalglish.
West Ham snapped up the keeper on a free transfer after his fall out of favour. In his first season at the club, he won the “Hammer of the Year” accolade after his instant impact on the pitch. He spent 4 years at West Ham and did well for the club, but unfortunately again found himself out of favour as Glenn Roeder signed David James and relegated the Trinidadian keeper to the bench.
This time it was Portsmouth who snapped him up, again Shaka asserted himself and was integral to the team promoted under Harry Redknapp. Hislop impressed during another crack at the premier league and made 93 appearances for Pompey.
During the twilight of his career, he rejoined West Ham, the club with whom he had such affinity. He made a cameo of 16 appearances before moving back to the US to play for Dallas, but injury blighted his career there and he retired in 2007.
Shaka Hislop also made 26 appearances for Trinidad and Tobago in spite of once being on the bench for the England national team. He was fortunate enough to play in the World Cup for his native team in 2006.
Nowadays, Shaka covers the MLS for broadcaster ESPN. Shaka Hislop, The North Stand salutes you.