Jamaica mistake Tyrone?

Burnley ace's footie blunder means he can't play for England

TY -GROAN: Mears dons Jamaica kit
TY -GROAN: Mears dons Jamaica kit
GAFFE-R: Ex-Jamaican boss Barnes
GAFFE-R: Ex-Jamaican boss Barnes

AS a defender, Tyrone Mears knows you get punished for playing a man on-side - especially if it's the WRONG side.

And that's now happened to the Burnley star after playing football for a country he has NO link to.

The balls-up came when Tyrone - who thought he was of Jamaican blood - was asked to play by their old boss John Barnes.

It was the right-back's first international cap - but the Jamaican FA MISSED the fact Tyrone's long lost father was AFRICAN.

Now the 26-year-old must pay the ultimate penalty - not being able to fulfil his boyhood dream of playing for England.

FIFA rules state that a player who has participated in an official match for one international team, can't represent another.

Tyrone, born in Stockport to a British mum, told the News of the World: "It was an honest mistake on my part. I can't believe the Jamaican FA didn't check in the registration process!"


The Premier League player, rated as England's second-best right-back by Opta stats, was recovering from an injury at the start of the year while playing for French club Marseille.

He added: "I was desperate for games at the time. When Barnes asked me about Jamaica I thought I'd see if I qualified."

That's when Mears began digging into his father's past and was told he had Jamaican roots.

He added: "I gave the Jamaican FA my name, my father's name and that was it. I didn't have to submit my passport."

Mears played in the 0-0 draw against Nigeria in February, but a month later discovered he actually had NO Jamaican heritage.

He explained: "I was shocked when a private investigator later told me my dad was in fact from Sierra Leone."

Mears, who is appealing to FIFA to change his nationality to English, said: "I just want the chance to be considered for England along with everyone else."

Your comments

This article has 20 comments

Hold on a minute, just to back Paula up, she didn't call anyone a clown, Matt did, and I hardly think you could say that she ridiculed Tyrone’s relationship with his father, merely pointed to the fact that he should have known where his dad comes from, I know where mine does, basic family history really, not many people are interested in that.

By Steve.. Posted November 11 2009 at 5:49 AM.

Haha..the lad said it himself "he was desperate for games". No where did it say who he asked about his heritage..he just wanted a run in international football..now he's desperate to play for England so wants this mess cleared up.

By E.. Posted November 11 2009 at 12:06 AM.

Bit harsh Paula - Without knowing facts I wouldn't go calling someone a clown and ridicule his relationship with his Father. For the record, Mears has been in brilliant form this season.

By Nick.. Posted November 9 2009 at 2:51 AM.

I am sorry for this guy. Did his mother not know where his father is from or did he not take time to ask her? It is very unfortunate that some of the comments posted are bordering on this lad's intelegence. Yes what he did is a major mistake but for God's sake we all make mistakes in life whether we are Jamaicans or British and unfortunately he will have to live with it -but please do not bring up intelegence in this and do not blame Jamaica for everything like some persons did when they demanded that Marlon King be deported to Jamaica as he was born in the UK.

By Neville Malcolm.. Posted November 8 2009 at 11:40 PM.

The fact in question is,this person represented a country for whom he was not eligible, therefore this firstly needs proving,should this prove to be the case then he should be allowed to choose from the countries for whom he is elgible.
total lash-up!

By nedk.. Posted November 8 2009 at 10:55 PM.

yes Matt or you could even be a good South African runner as well some years ago!

By yorki.. Posted November 8 2009 at 4:58 PM.

so dumb if he wanted to play for england that badly why did he chose to play that match for jamaica.
should have known even if his dad wasnt jamaicaan that he couldnt play for england cause hes already played for jamaica

By mamz.. Posted November 8 2009 at 4:00 PM.

Its strange to say the least that he did not make investigations himself before opting for Jamaica. There are a lot of comments about working class players and lack of education and its high time the FA did something. They should adopt the American system where to stand any chance of playing pro sport ,US youngsters know them must pass high school and go through uni (college as they CALL it)Even if they fail, the system produces better educated and more socially aware sportsmen , unlike ours where majority of premiership footballers dont have a single GCSE as they drop out to sign for clubs at 16.

By Maidei.. Posted November 8 2009 at 1:55 PM.

Its quite sad that his first port of call to find out the nationality of his father (his mother) didn't know!!!!

And typical, in her ignorance, she blames a Jamaican!!

Poor us - we get blame for everything!!!!

By Jelz.. Posted November 8 2009 at 2:17 PM.

one thing I dont understand here is the fact that;ok,he doesnt know anything about his father but his mother is British.Why did he not ask his mother which country his father from?I am sure if he had asked his mother she would have told him,except if I am getting something wrong.
I cant call him stupid,I feel for him,it's a sign of broken Britain

By lolu.. Posted November 8 2009 at 12:51 PM.

People like Matt are so quick to condemn him for his background. Its really sad that he was born with out knowing anything about his father and sadly many children are born out of reletionships that have no substance.

Its true that many footballers from working class backgrounds are not well educated.
They often have to be very mentality strong to make it from youth team to first team. Many fall by the wayside.
Maybe we should respect lads like Mears who had to fight there way to the top from a tough start rather than sticking the boot in from the comfort of your pc's.

By Bob.. Posted November 8 2009 at 11:44 AM.

Funny story..
Please stop making yourself look stupid...

By dj.. Posted November 8 2009 at 11:36 AM.

Couldn't happen to a nicer fellow.

This is what you get for climbing through the training-ground window to sneak off to sit on the bench for a year at Marseilles, Tye. Although Derby were managed by the awful Jewell at the time, if you had done things correctly, you wouldn't have needed to go crawling off to John Barnes in order to get a game for anyone - and your England aspirations, laughable as they are on account of you actually being rubbish, would still have been a reality - at least in your own mind.

By Eddie.. Posted November 8 2009 at 10:55 AM.

He can't "continue to play for the Reggae Boyz and live with his stupidity" as he doesn't qualify to play for them. Read the article again.

He made a mistake in a friendy game which means he can apply for change of nationality to FIFA. The form he's been in for Burnley this season has been amazing. I want the best English players in South Africa and at this moment in time Mears is (application dependent) one of those.

By Grant.. Posted November 8 2009 at 9:56 AM.

Why did he choose to play for Jamaica if he wanted to play for England? Surely he knew that if he went and played for another country, he wouldnt be eligible for England??? Muppet

By Adam.. Posted November 8 2009 at 8:56 AM.

All the people saying he should know where his dad is from. Why? It is his long lost Dad. He probably hasn't seen his dad for like 20 years. Thats why he had a PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR to find about his heritage. Read the article lol.

By james.. Posted November 8 2009 at 8:55 AM.

If his dream is to play for England and he knows he qualifies, why would he acccept the call up for Jamaica regardless of whether he had Jamaican lineage or not?

By Sam.. Posted November 8 2009 at 8:35 AM.

Tyrone is a symptom of what is wrong with some of these Premiership players, no education, lack of common sense?
How can a person not do his homework about his family and try tracing his roots.
I am certainly not shedding a tear for Tyrone Mears who rely's on hearsay or in his case the Jamaican FA to tell him about his heritage. He should keep playing for the Raggae Boyz and live with his stupidity forever. Playing for England no chance mate.

By Jay Ajayi.. Posted November 8 2009 at 4:29 AM.

This is incredible! So Tyrone is shocked the Jamaican FA did not check. Why would they doubt him when he claimed he was from Jamaican heritage. Its not up to the Jamaican FA to know where his dad is from - Tyrone should know where his own dad comes from!

By PAULA.. Posted November 8 2009 at 1:28 AM.

Hang on. Didn't this clown KNOW where his Dad was from? Strong relationship there then. And if you want to be considered to play for England you DON'T put on the colours of another country (unless you're a South African who's really good at cricket).

By Matt.. Posted November 8 2009 at 1:11 AM.

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