SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Former teammates, friends, and family gathered at Jerseyland Community Center on Thursday, Dec. 5, to celebrate the life of Jamil Joyner, one of the greatest football players that Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School has ever produced.

Jamil Joyner died on Nov. 20, his 50th birthday, and was described as a great friend and father. He was born to Joan and Glascus Joyner in Rahway and was raised in Scotch Plains. A member of the class of 1987, he was a football star and varsity basketball player at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. Later, he received his associates degree in HVAC and eventually moved to Florida, where he lived for over 15 years, according to his Brown's Funeral Home obituary.

Joyner was known for his blazing speed as a high school running back. In the opening game of his senior year season, he ran for 151 yards and scored three touchdowns against Cranford in Scotch Plains-Fanwood's 31-13 win. As a senior, Joyner rushed for 9 TDs, 74 carries, 630 yards (an 8.5 yard average) as the Raiders went 6-3, including a win over Westfield, led that day by future NY Giants QB Dave Brown. Joyner also had a 90-yard touchdown run in a win over Kearny that year. He combined with sophomore Jeffrey Hammonds (the future MLB player) for a potent one-two punch on the ground for the Raiders during the 1986 football season.

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"Jamil was a great person with a huge heart. He was a person who never argued with anyone," said longtime friend Felton Jones. "He was also a tremendous talent on the football field and the basketball court, and a great all-around guy and friend to all. He will be missed."

Joyner was predeceased by his mother; Joan Joyner, and sister; Tonya Montague. He is survived by his wife, Sakeena Joyner, their son, Jahari Joyner, and their two daughters, Laila Joyner, and Dayshia Gentles, his father, Glascus Joyner, and paternal grandmother, Olive Franklin. He is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.