Anguilla Football League
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Uprising FC


We are delighted to announce that we have agreed a sponsorship deal for our new away kits for the 2025 and 2026 seasons with the former West Indies Test Cricket all-rounder Omari Banks who today is a successful singer-songwriter. This is a very proud moment for our football club, and we cannot thank Omari enough for his kindness and generosity. 

We recently sat down with Omari, the first Anguillian to play international cricket, to ask him some questions about his sporting and musical life. It is safe to say that his talents have seen him having some incredible experiences over the years, and we hope you enjoying reading about them.

Born on the 17th of July 1982 in Anguilla, Omari first started playing cricket as an 8-year-old schoolboy whilst he was studying at the Stoney Ground Primary School. It is here that he picks up the story – “I remember that one of my best friends invited me to attend cricket practice for the school team. I played very well and got selected for the team, I was obsessed with the game from that moment onwards! Some of my cricketing heroes at that time were Brian Lara, Curtly Ambrose, and Ritchie Richardson.”

We wanted to know from Omari what his journey was like from those early days of playing schoolboy cricket, right the way through to international level. 

“My journey was one of sacrifice and passion. My love for the game of cricket and dream of playing for the West Indies inspired me to practice everyday and all day! Even when I was at school, I would visualise batting and bowling.”

“As I was the first to play international cricket, there was a lot of uncertainty on whether I was making the right choice, but I persevered and my uncle, Valentine Banks, and youth team coach, Cardigan Connor were both instrumental in supporting my growth.”

“I was successful from the youth cricket stages and was one of the most prolific batters and bowlers when I played. I was selected to play at under 19’s level for the West Indies at the age of 18, and I also made my professional season debut for the Leeward Islands during the same year. I had a very successful first season which included picking up the player of the match award in only my second professional game for the Leeward Islands. In my third season, I was selected to represent the West Indies v Australia in 2003.”

During their recent visit to Anguilla, our club officials Pascal Panitzcsh, Louis Jones, and Gareth Thomas were fortunate enough to meet with Omari. During that conversation, Omari told them that he played cricket in England, a period of his life he expanded on in this interview.

“I had some great times playing county cricket for Somerset in England, but my first professional game came as a 17-year-old playing for Leicestershire against Pakistan! One of my mentors, Jack Birkenshaw was the coach, and he invited me to train with the team which is where I got the opportunity to play against the touring Pakistan team. That was an amazing experience! Whilst I was with Somerset, I played in the first ever World T20 Club Championship in India. That was definitely another highlight!”

The focus of the interview then turned to his life in music with Omari explaining how he got into that line of professional work.

“I’ve always had a love of music and a talent to sing. When I was young, I always had instruments around me to play or figure out. Growing up around the Moonsplash Festival here in Anguilla, that was definitely a source for my inspiration as was my mother encouraging me to perform in talent shows. That also gave me the confidence to do it.”

“When I came to the point where I started to feel like I wanted to move on from cricket, it was in the direction of music without a question! Music was always there for me, my first job before playing professional cricket was entertaining at hotels. Music was also a source of comfort for me when I travelled to play cricket as I always carried my guitar. I moved on to music as a career at 29 years old after playing cricket professionally for eleven seasons.”

As well as being a brilliant singer, Omari is also an excellent songwriter. We were keen to find out what was the first song he ever wrote.

“The first song I ever wrote was a love song to my girlfriend at the time when I was 17 years old (Think Of You) but that was just for us to sing. However, when I retired from playing cricket, my first song was (Move On) which was inspired by me moving on from cricket to music.”

Over the years, Omari has embarked on successful tours in the USA playing and singing to many fans. We put it to him that this must be an incredible experience.

“Performing on tour or just in general is an amazing experience! Being able to connect with people through music is definitely a buzz and very fulfilling! When people tell you that you touched their lives with a song and it has helped or inspired them through a time in their life, then you know you are on the right track! I have been blessed to make some amazing friendships as a result of doing many shows on the east coast of the USA. My ambition is to tour in more states all over the US, and to go on tour in Europe and beyond with my new album that I have just finished recording. The goal is to spread my music, message, and love.”

Before the interview went on to the subject of football, Omari informed us that he will soon start promoting new projects which he is very excited about. Watch this space! 

With us being a football club, we naturally wanted to talk football to Omari, and to find out if he was a football fan himself.

“I have always admired and watched football. In my youth I was the captain of the Stoney Ground Primary School team when we won our first inter school competition. I also used to follow the English Premier League and I was a big fan of Arsenal. I loved watching Thierry Henry play.”

We are of course so grateful to Omari for his kind sponsorship of our club, and we asked what the deciding factor was in him choosing to join us.

“It is always a pleasure to give back, and I believe that sports play a big role in nation building as it promotes healthy ethics for us all, and in so many ways prepare us for life. So, supporting sports is always a high priority for me as I have seen the impact it can have over the years.”

And as for the future………………….

“The future for me is music and giving back through music and or by whatever means I can with my influence and experience. I would like to wish Uprising FC all the best for the future and wish them my love and encouragement on the strides they have made thus far and beyond! Greatness is on the horizon!”

We hope you; our amazing supporters have enjoyed finding out more about our brilliant new sponsor Omari Banks. We would like to thank Omari again for everything he has done for our club. If you would like to find out more about Omari, then you can do so via the following methods.


Instagram: @omaribanksmusic

Facebook: Omari Banks

Twitter: @Omaribanksmusic

Interview conducted by Gareth Thomas – Uprising FC Media Officer


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