Duhaney “Whisper” Richards, 17, a standout football player at Jamaica’s Phoenix All Stars Football Academy and Kingston College (KC), will join the English Premier League (EPL) as a member of the Chelsea Football Club. Craig Butler, the founder of the Phoenix Academy, announced Richards’ pre-contract signing on Instagram on March 11, 2023.
In his Instagram post, Butler stated that history had been made with the signing of Richards by England’s Chelsea FC, and noted that striker Richards had been with the Academy since he was 12 years old. He added that Phoenix was proud of Richards’ loyalty and faith in the team and its founder and expressed his gratitude to Chelsea. He also said he was looking forward to maintaining a relationship and partnership with the team as the Academy prepares Richards to play in the Premier League. Additionally, Butler thanked all the Jamaicans who believed in “Whisper’s” talent, in the Phoenix Academy, and in Jamaica’s ability to produce outstanding players through a willingness to work hard with a commitment to excellence.
Richards had been a stellar player at Kingston College during the latest schoolboy football season and was instrumental to the success of KC playing in the semifinals of the Corporate Area Manning Cup as in the final of the Champions Cup. Richards made 31 goals and had 19 assists in the last season. There were reports that Richards had been on a two-week trial with another EPL club, Newcastle, prior to signing with Chelsea and had attended Newcastle’s 1-1 draw in the Premier League at St. James Park in February 2023. Richards was also part of the All Manning team that was defeated by All DaCosta.
Richards received his first national senior men’s call-up recently and was featured in the friendly global games for the Reggae Boyz when they played Trinidad and Tobago in the first of a two-game series on March 11, 2023. Fans will likely get a chance to see Richards play in the second match against Trinidad and Tobago on March 14, 2023, at National Stadium in Kingston.