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Tales of The Legends: Remembering forgotten football legend

2020-10-02  Carlos Kambaekwa

Tales of The Legends: Remembering forgotten football legend

History reveals that Katutura giants Black Africa Football Club were chronic chief beneficiaries of talent from the unofficial “School of Excellence” football-wise, the St Josephs Secondary School.
Back in the day, the Gemengde outfit cleverly utilised the Roman Catholic Training Centre, generally known as Dobra, as their feeding institution recruiting the bulk of their playing personnel from that neck of the woods.
Amongst the most recognised figures was a tall bearded light skinned fullback, going by the name of ‘Vossie’ van Wyk. In today’s edition of your favourite weekly sport feature Tales of the Legends, New Era Sport posthumously pays a dignified tribute to the hard as nails fullback-cum-referee-turned-football administrator, whose precious life was tragically cut short by a horrific car accident. May his soul continue to rest easy.

Carlos ‘CK’ Kambaekwa

As widely anticipated, two of the most decorated teams in the history of domestic football, African Stars and Black Africa were to lock horns in the much anticipated final of the first ever knockout cup tournament.

The inaugural edition of the short-lived annual Dave’s Furnishers Cup, carrying a then handsome prize of N$1 000 in hard cash was held at a fully packed Katutura stadium, the mega of football in 1974.

Needless to note that BA, spearheaded by bow legged sharpshooter Pele Eigowab, were hot favourites to walk away with the prestigious trophy.

Interestingly, the entire BA starting lineup on that particular chilly Sunday afternoon, were products of Dobra in the following sequence,
Hubert Mootseng, Vossie van Wyk, Willy Katire, Gabes Dausab, Malaka Somseb, Albert Louw, Bethuel ‘Five’ Hochobeb, Anton ‘Stouter’ Ochurub, Pius Eigowab, Bernard ‘Hassie’ Mingeri, Mike Hans.   

Stars also had a decent contingent of Dobra students in their starting eleven led by Oscar Mengo, Ben Kauejao, Karumbu Kahiha and Albert Tjihero with agile goalie Ephraim Riruako, named amongst the reserves.  
The five-goal thriller produced fireworks with action swinging from end to end. Underdogs ‘Starlile’ took the lead via auxiliary fullback Manfredt ‘Bush’ Menjengua’s deflected shot.

Kauejao added the second with a powerful header but the Dobra inspired entourage came back strongly after the resumption, firing on all cylinders. They drew level with a goal apiece from Hochobeb and ‘Garrincha’ Eigowab (2-2).
However, young afro-haired Dobra student Kahiha, delivered the killer blow with a cracking shot from range that left now retired chief cop Mootseng catching flies.
The decisive goal gifted ‘Starlile’ a hard fought 3-2 victory in the historic clash of the titans sending the red army of Reds’ supporters into raptures.

Despite the defeat, the new generation of BA would go onto dominate domestic football for a considerable period, winning several knockout cup tourneys leading the revolution during the dawn of multiracial football in apartheid South West Africa (SWA) in 1977.
Vossie formed the spine of BA and was the backbone of the team’s rock solid rearguard marshalled by cool as a cucumber libero Dausab, overlapping fullback Somseb and hard tackling centre back Katire.

Apart from turning out for hostel team Indian Pirates, ‘Vossie’ was a valuable squad member of Dobra’s second strings alongside Oscar Mengo, Hassie Mingeri, Paul Damaseb and the late quartet of Benzil Khodieseb, Stouter Ochurub, Cakes Uirab and Corrie Uri-Khob, in 1971.

He was part of gifted youngsters elevated to the school’s first team the following year alongside Corrie, Hassie and Stouter, succeeding the following outgoing senior squad members; Malaka Somseb, Willy Katire, Ben Kauejao, Pele Eigowab and Mike Hans.
In the meantime, Vossie cut his teeth with Nau-Aib outfit Magic Tigers Football Club in the garden town (Okahandja) during school vacations.  
At the Magicians, he partnered the hard as nails robust centre back Khai-Aob Gariseb (Richard Gariseb’s old man) in the heart of the green and white strip’s uncompromising rearguard.

Vossie’s football crazy nephews and cousins, John van Wyk (late), Ronnie Kanalelo, Gerhard (late), Fighter, Eddy, Jerome (Crocodile) and Jingly (Lorenzo) Louis, were also formidable footballers in their own right.
He also represented the South West Africa (SWA) Blacks Eleven with distinction against their white counterparts in the historic first-ever multi-racial football match in Apartheid SWA in 1975.  

The tough tackling fullback was in the starting lineup when the star-studded SWA Central Invitational Eleven confronted visiting Soweto giants Morokka Swallows and Kaizer Chiefs, in high profile exhibition clashes on separate occasions at the packed to rafters Katutura stadium in 1976.
Having had laid his hands on almost every available silverware there was to be won, Boetman’s flourishing football journey was unfortunately brought to an abrupt. He sustained multiple career-ending knee injuries.
Nonetheless, he was not entirely lost to football and turned his attention to refereeing. In no time, he cemented himself as one of the most no-nonsense much-sought-after match officials in the business.  
Often going by his clan name Boetman, he also served in several portfolios on the Executive Committee of his beloved BA. He was amongst the driving force that masterminded the breakaway Namibian Soccer Super League (NSSL) from the whites dominated Swafa in 1985.
Sadly, as fate would dictate, his precious life was abbreviated by a catastrophic motor vehicle accident in 1992 between Windhoek and Okahandja, just a day before celebrating his 39th birthday.
Coincidently, Vossie’s death occurred on the same road that tragically claimed the lives of football greats Ben Kauejao and Costa Lucas. May their combined souls continue to rest easy.

2020-10-02  Carlos Kambaekwa

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