JOSEPH ‘Reds’ Perreira, former West Indies cricket commentator and OECS Sports Director, has begun work on his memoirs, set to be launched prior to the 2010 20/20 World Cup. His career, which has taken him across the entire Caribbean and several continents, has spanned over fifty years of world class West Indies cricket performances.
The autobiography begins with Reds’ early beginnings in the Pomeroon River in the County of Essequibo in Guyana and traces his struggles with a stammering handicap to become one of the respected commentators in West Indies cricket alongside his colleague and friend Tony Cozier.
Perreira’s career in radio began in 1968 with the Guyana Broadcasting Service (GBS) and he later worked as adviser to the Minister of Sport in Guyana and became Chairman of the National Sports Council from 1973 to 1978.
Reds’ travels across the globe took him to England, India and Australia and put him in the company of outstanding voices of Cricket like John Arlott, Alan McGilvery, Jim Maxwell and Christopher Martin-Jenkins and thrust him into the circle of such luminaries as Sir Alexander Bustamante, Fidel Castro, Dr Roger Bannister, Mohammed Ali and Sir Donald Bradman.
In 1984, Perreira was appointed Sports Director at the OECS Sports Desk in St Lucia where he served twelve years in developing the OECS sporting identity and a growing sustainable sports programme.
In 1996, Reds suffered a debilitating stroke whilst covering cricket in Australia from which he made a remarkable recovery. “That was really the most frightening period of my life,” said Reds, “I did not see how I would make a full recovery, but with the support of an amazing network of doctors, family, friends and sports-loving supporters I was able to confront the biggest challenge of my life.
Reds’ career did not end there. He continued broadcasting and took a position as Sports Consultant to the St Lucia Tourist Board, at the same time establishing a Sports Foundation in his native Guyana to give back to the community.
He was President of the St Lucia Amateur Boxing Association from 2004 to 2008 and is currently the Director of the Sports for Life Programme in St Lucia. “Since arriving I’ve always felt comfortable and accepted by the St Lucian public and decided to make it my home.”
Joseph `Reds’ Perreira is working with experienced local journalist Katherine Atkinson, while Tony Cozier has agreed to write the foreword. It is expected to launch in early 2010 in St Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad and Guyana. The endeavour has received the support of many in the sports fraternity and significant regional private sector sponsorship.