Following in the footsteps of a celebrated father was never going to be a walk in the park and former Eleven Arrows, Black Africa and Young Ones football clubs’ attacking midfielder Stanley Louw is testimony to this Stone Age adage. In today’s edition of your favourite weekly sport feature, Tales of the Legends, which chronicles tales about our forgotten sport heroes and heroines present and posthumously, New Era Sport caught up with arguably one of the most underrated midfielders of his generation, Stanley Louw, famously known as ‘Stakes’ amongst his vast circle of friends.
Ace in the pack... Stakes (1st from left - kneeling) in the gold and maroon strip of Kuisebmond outfit Eleven Arrows FC. Standing from left: Frans ‘Killa’ Samaria (team manager), Ronnie Masilo, Peta Useb, Lawrence ‘Kiki’ Gaseb, Lucky ‘Wire’ Shipanga, Johannes Lukas Kapembe, Julius ‘Sono’ Shivute, Graham ‘Fanco’ Swarts (capt), Aupaa ‘Horse’ Tjizumaue. Kneeling from left: Stigga Louw, Albert Damaseb (+d), Elvis Sheya Mwelasi, Makalakalani, Ono Hailombe, Jacky Viringa, Dawie Olivier.
Carlos ‘CK’ Kambaekwa
Born in Namibia’s commercial capital Windhoek, often referred to as the city of bright lights in township lingo, Stanley Louw’s genes dictated that he would be a footballer of note.
After all, his late old man Albert ‘Boetie’ Louw, was arguably the greatest midfielder of his generation, while uncle Hannes Louw was equally a great footballer.
The latter went on to play professional football in neighbouring South Africa during the height of apartheid in then South West Africa (SWA), and South Africa. Nephew Rudi Louw was not too far behind and also played professional football as well as represented his motherland with great aplomb while equally blessed sister Ingrid Louw was a devastating hoop rattler (netball) in her own right.
History reveals that Stakes Louw was amongst a few footballers to play under the watch of their celebrated fathers as their mentor. Though he was born in Windhoek, Stakes spent his formative years in the harbour town of Walvis Bay after his old man Albert relocated down west.
He found himself in well-organised structures at a revamped Eleven Arrows outfit under the watch of former Black Africa and South West Africa great Albert. His arrival at the ambitious Kuisebmond outfit coincided with the club’s unavoidable transformation period that saw a significant number of highly gifted youngsters entering the fray ... replacing the ageing old guard.
He found himself in the good company of the likes of Eliphas Shivute, Nghenny Emvula, Sono Shivute, Ronnie Kanalelo, Koos Muaine, Pule Tjombe, Sparks Gotlieb, Ben Gonteb, Habasen Gurirab, Sadike Gotlieb, Horse Tjizumaue and many other talented emerging footballers.
Arrows just came off a historic win over bitter rivals Blue Waters in the first ever live televised match, the JPS final at the packed to the rafters Kuisebmond stadium.
Playing as an attacking midfielder, young Stakes was the catalyst when the maroon and gold strip outfit won the coveted national league title in 1991 in the inaugural edition of national topflight league football after Namibia had gained her democracy in 1990.
The victory gifted the seasiders a passage to represent the land of the braves in the Caf Champions League preliminaries against Arsenal in Lesotho. Sadly, his rollercoaster lodging with the Atlantic Oceaners came to an abrupt end when he jumped ship to join Arrows’ arch rivals Blue Waters.
However, after just one season with the Birds, boyhood team Black Africa came dangling a juicy carrot in his baby face enticing the left-footed playmaker to relocate to his birthplace.
“It was an easy decision for me, Black Africa was always very close to my heart because of my old man’s legacy. What also made the decision much easier was the presence of my fellow teammates at Arrows – Bobby Samaria, Peta Useb and Ronnie Kanalelo.”
Stakes was an immediate hit amongst the BA diehards and was deservedly rewarded with the captain’s armband. He led the Gemengde outfit to multiple knockout cup glory including the elusive league title.
A bird of passage, Stakes sent shockwaves amongst the club’s followers when he jumped ship to join forces with exciting Khomasdal outfit Young Ones Football Club – much to the chagrin of BA’s faithful.
“It was a matter of trying a new challenge because I’d won almost every available silverware there was to be won in the domestic football league with Black Africa – and Young Ones was the ideal team to add to my already colourful trophy cabinet.”
After three trophy-less seasons with the ‘Kings at Night’, as Young Ones were famously dubbed as a result of their attractive one-touch style of football, especially during matches at their favourire hunting ground the compact SKW stadium, in southern Windhoek, Stakes called it quits while still at the pinnacle of his blossoming football career.
“I just lost further interest in the game and decided to get out of football for personal reasons.” Nonetheless, the tricky midfielder resurfaced at unfamiliar territory, taking up cycling and long distance road running. He became a noted duathlete, clinching several winner medals in his newly adopted pastime.
He subsequently relocated to the northern part of the country and is currently based in Oshakati.
“Regrettably, I’ve been trying in vain to set up development structures for aspiring footballers but there seems to be no interest at all. I would like to establish a women’s football team because I see a lot of talent here but lack of sufficient facilities remains a major stumbling block.”