'Teddy' Johnson eager to get back on pitch as he recovers from gunshot wounds

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'Teddy' Johnson eager to get back on pitch as he recovers from gunshot wounds

BY HOWARD WALKER
Observer writer

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

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DESPITE still recovering from gunshot wounds, Jermaine “Teddy” Johnson is looking forward to the start of local Premier League football, tentatively set for November 14.

The 40-year-old Johnson, who was shot and injured on Election Day, September 3, 2020 told the Jamaica Observer that he is recovering well and has at least two more years playing the sport, saying “you have to know when to draw the line”.

“I still have a month to go before the league even start. When the doctors say you can do certain things, it gives me confidence,” said Johnson.

“I am coping much better, miles better now than where I was about a week ago, but I still feel most pain in my chest like when I try to get up if I am in bed,” he noted.

“Sometimes the short[ness] of breath comes up on me and that's the issues I am having right now,” Johnson added.

The former national player, who had stints in the English Premier League with Bolton Wanderers between 2001 and 2003, revealed that part of his chest is damaged and he also has a broken rib.

“I am a very positive person and I am confident in getting back quickly. I always get back quickly from injuries. This is a simple setback for me and once God gives you back a chance, you just do things that make you happy,” said a philosophical Johnson.

The talented player, arguably one of the country's most skillful players in his prime, also represented Oldham Athletics, Bradford City and Sheffield Wednesday in the English Championship.

Despite his age, Johnson believes he still has what it takes to lead Tivoli Gardens to the Premier League title and revealed that last season should have been his last, but the coronavirus pandemic ruined his grand send-off.

“Last season was going to be my last but because it [the season] broke just like that, it didn't give me the chance to do what I wanted to do to help the Tivoli team,” said Johnson.

“If I get a full season back it will do good for me and the club – and that's the aim,” he added.

Johnson, also known for his blistering speed, says while he thinks he has two more full seasons left in him, he will step aside before that to allow opportunity for others.

“I have at least two more seasons, but I don't want to stop the youths that are coming up now. The thing is, it's not all the games I am going to play because you will have the youths that will be fitter than me. The only thing that will help me is my experience, mostly. It's not every day I will play and I will have to understand that,” he pointed out.

Johnson, who made his debut for Jamaica in 2001 and last represented the country in 2017, was just happy to be alive after he was shot along with two other persons in the inner-city community of Southside.

“Sometimes it makes me wonder if I am a bad man or what, because in your head, only bad people get shot,” he said laughing.

“It makes me wonder why I get shot because I am not doing anything wrong or me and people are not in war,” he reflected.

“But I was a just in the wrong place at the wrong time and I know I should be home because that time of the day anything can happen, because a lot of people will be on the road,” Johnson noted.

“So I just give God thanks that I am still alive, walking, riding bicycle and those stuff. I am just happy,” said Johnson.


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