Football legends from the mid-70s meet in Windhoek

29 Mar 2014 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 29 MAR (NAMPA) – A reunion was held in Windhoek on Friday which saw members of the first two teams in the then South West Africa to compete against each other in a historic ‘interracial’ football match, meet up.
The two teams – one white, and one non-white – went up against each other on 04 October 1975.
The match drew a lot of attention, and it took place at the then Suidwes Stadium, now the Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium in Windhoek’s Olympia residential area.
One of the thousands of people to witness the match was Mannfred Goldbeck – who is now the managing director of the Gondwana Collection. A statement issued by Gondwana prior to the event said Goldbeck walked the long way from his home to the stadium because he wanted to be part of the historic match, despite his father forbidding him from going.
It was also his idea to organise the reunion between members of the two teams.
On Friday night the veteran footballers who had come from all over the country came together at the Gondwana Collection's head office in Windhoek to reminisce about the old days - when it was almost forbidden for black and white sportsmen to share the same field.
Alfred Tjihero, who captained his team, told the audience it was not easy as his team did not have the luxuries of training facilities and sport fields unlike their white counterparts, but their love for the sport helped them to overcome the obstacles.
“Namibia gained its independence 24 years ago, but soccer has been independent since 1975,” Tjihero said, drawing huge applause from the football players, politicians and other guests who attended the event. After this historical match all colour barriers were demolished as clubs like African Stars, Spartan, Windhoek City and Orlando Pirates then played against each other regularly.
Tjihero also made use of the platform to say the veteran players are willing to sit around the table with the younger generation to bring local football back to where it used to be.
The historical match in 1975 saw each team scoring three goals and was attended by at least 4 000 spectators.
The match also drew a lot of media attention, and former politician Dirk Mudge told Deon Schlechter - a reporter at the time - after the match that he was pleased with the historical match between black and white.
To celebrate the historical event, the two teams have also challenged each other to a friendly match which was set to be held at the Ramblers Football Club in Windhoek on Saturday afternoon. The match will start at around 17h00, and will be followed by a get-together where the players will once again get the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane. Entrance is free, and visitors were set to be treated to various other football matches as from midday.