New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Ode to great footie ‘Ou /Hurob’ Theodore Wherrick Zimmer-Goreseb 1937 – 2024

Ode to great footie ‘Ou /Hurob’ Theodore Wherrick Zimmer-Goreseb 1937 – 2024

2024-05-17  Carlos Kambaekwa

Ode to great footie ‘Ou /Hurob’ Theodore Wherrick Zimmer-Goreseb 1937 – 2024

Should the untold history of Namibian football be told in bold, the name of Theodore ‘Wherrick’ Zimmer-Goreseb, better known as ‘Uerivara’ or ‘Ou /Hurob’, is likely going to feature prominently.

When the stocky striker was on song, there were very few peers, if any, on the playing field who could match his amazing football virtuosity. 

He started chasing leather at the advanced age of 17 with boyhood pals Immanuel ‘Socks’ Skrywer, Simon Cloete, Nicodemus Awaseb and Amon Goaseb at Windhoek’s Old Location for local outfit Cape Cross FC. 

“We had plenty of talented guys in that team, and there was this young dude known only as Bayman. Please don’t ask me where that name came from, but he was a marvel to watch, alongside the pair of highly-gifted brothers from Upington, Boy and Frans Daniels. We played lots of exhibition matches against Tigers, Young Standard, Juvenile, Wash-Away, Thistles and in later years, African Stars and Ilili Boys,” he said.

“Nonetheless, the players took each match seriously, with ethnic pride at stake. We also competed in the annual Bowker and Ethel Tredor Cup. The team later changed its name from Cape Cross to Pirates (Dolam).”

 Ou /Hurob left Pirates soon afterwards, only to team up with the cream of the township to form the untouchable Eleven Explorer. 

The newly-formed outfit consisted of Joe Kariko, Dr Tjaatako Tjijorokisa, John ‘Tarzan’ Swarts, Bronny and Paul ‘Zorro’ Willemse, Dixie Kariko, Times Mwetuyela, Siseva ‘Danger’ Siririka, Tommy Uushona and Floyd Maharero, among the crème de la crème of local footballers recruited from Katutura and Khomasdal. 

Their first game was against Tigers, which they lost, but from there on it was one-way traffic. They went on a rampaging spree,
winning each match, which culminated to a stage where football became boring “as we clearly ran out of competitive opponents”. 

The new kid (team) on the block was
placed under the guidance of the highly-knowledgeable football administrator Robert Matlobo, a streetwise South African social worker stationed in Windhoek. Eleven Explorer was the first-ever black team to play against a white team, Ramblers in 1961.

The match was played in very good spirit and ended in a draw, with the versatile Imms Skrywer in excellent form on that historic day. Ou /Hurob’s influence on the playing field obligated national selectors to install him as captain of the first South West Africa (SWA) Bantu Invitational Eleven that toured South Africa in 1958. 

“We had this German dude, Manfred Hewicke working at Otto Mohr outfitters, as our coach. He was a very good tactician, and was instrumental in selecting the touring squad that played against invitational teams from Johannesburg, Durban, Krugersdorp, Hammanskraal and Bloemfontein,” said Ou /Hurob. 

Some of the celebrated players in the touring entourage were Coloured Kakololo, Kallie Bessinger, Oscar Tjahuha-Norich, Simon Cloete, Lightning Geingob, Amon Gaoseb, August Nangolo, Stepha Niilenge, Seth Kavandje, and the Malan brothers Man and Issy. 

Andrew Mogale was the designated team manager, while a white guy going by the name of A. de Wet was tasked to keep an eagle’s eye over the travelling squad. Four years later, the team toured South Africa again with ‘Ou
/Hurob’ as captain. 

This time, the team played in Johannesburg, Germiston and Bloemfontein, where they met light-skinned Damara-speaking bloke Albert Herbert Conradie, then an immigrant worker hitched to a South African woman. The touring team had mixed fortunes, winning two and losing the other two matches. 

“The South Africans were technically better equipped than us, but we outclassed them with our sheer endurance, pace and shooting ability,” he said.  

Upon the team’s return, Ou /Hurob was honoured with a testimonial match pitting Pirates against a Tsumeb Invitational Eleven in the Copper Town in 1962. 

That match, organised by the late football guru Herbert Conradie, drew a large crowd. Surprisingly, he developed itchy feet, only to resurface in the freezing coastal town of Walvis Bay.  Ou /Hurob joined the star-studded Blue Waters outfit, playing alongside Charles Kauraisa, Gabes ‘Flying Fish’ Mupupa, Tommy Uushona, Gabriel Mutilifa  and Oscar Tjahuha-Norich. 

“We had memorable encounters against Namib Woestyn, who had this striker in their line up whom I only remember as Isacky. That boy was very cunning and tricky.” 

Ou /Hurob won the golden boot award after scoring a record 350 goals in his illustrious football career. 

“I was always inspired by the likes of Tommy, Gabes, Times and goalkeeper Alois ‘Alle Hoekies’ Taylor, while Kallie Bessinger also proved a tricky customer to handle, despite his small frame.”  In an exclusive interview with New Era Sport, the former goal-poacher said modern footballers are having it too easy, and lack the required endurance. 

“In our days, we were much fitter than today’s youngsters, considering the fact that we played up to three matches within a day, on top of using balls manufactured from heavy leather. 

Additionally, we were not allowed to make any substitutions during a match, unless a serious injury occurred. The standard today is very poor, and football authorities seriously need to start thinking about adjusting the training methods if we are to make any serious inroads into international football.

A diehard Manchester United fan ‘Ou
/Hurob’ liked the Brazilian flair and was impressed by the Spanish ‘Tiki-Taka’ style of play. Elder son of the late, Eric Muinjo followed in his dad’s footsteps, making a name as a noted footie, and was among the finest
qualified coaches in domestic. 

Younger brothers, the late Geoffrey Zaahl and Seun Doeseb also played competitive league football. Cousin Jerry Zimmer, a former midfielder, is the incumbent head coach of Premiership campaigners Civics Football Cub. 

The Namibia Football Association has resolved to observe a moment of silence for this weekend’s matches in honour of Zimmer-Goreseb. 

2024-05-17  Carlos Kambaekwa

Share on social media