Death has struck again, after news emerged that former Blue Waters and Tigers Football Club acrobatic shot-stopper Asser Ipinge, has exited the game of life, aged 56.
MTC Premiership giants Tigers Football Club has an impressive marathon history of producing some of the greatest shot-stoppers in domestic football since time immemorial. Those that left their mark in domestic football are the great Johannes “Nandos the Cat” Mbako, Gustav “Bollie” Kandonga, Moses “Kanyeza” Straightwolf, Philemon “Fly” Ambunda, George Bandike “Okazia” Ochurub, Asser Ipinge, Ephraim Dawids, Dax Andjamba, Abiater “Fox” Nambundunga and of late, Lloyd Kazapua,
In today’s edition of your favourite weekly sports feature Tales of the Legends, New Era Sport pays a fitting tribute to the likeable departed net-guard, reliving tales from his formative years as a young footballer learning the trade at exciting coastal outfit Blue Waters FC until he resurfaced at bitter rivals Tigers in the city of bright lights in the mid-90’s.
WINDHOEK – Without a shadow of doubt, history would reveal that retired South West Africa (SWA) Bantu Invitational Eleven and Tigers’ imposing goalie, one Johannes “Nandos” Mbako, better known as “The Cat” during his heyday between the sticks was the greatest and arguably the most influential goalkeeper of his generation.
That tradition would trickle down as “Ingwe” went on to unearth great goalkeepers in the intervening years. In a rather unusual move, the late Asser “Spiderman” Ipinge, joined the ambitious Donkerhoek outfit (Tigers FC) from Kuisebmond rivals Blue Waters FC in 1994.
His arrival at Tigers was contrary to an old tradition that has rendered a significant number of footballers from that neck of the woods reluctant to seek refuge in the Tigers’ den whenever they relocated to the city of bright lights in search of pastures green with Katutura glamour football club African Stars, aka “Starlile”, their preferred destination.
Ipinge was amongst those who defied the tradition following in the footsteps of Tommy Uushona, Jerry Tobias, Jason Kayala Haufiku, Edwarth “Boy-Boy” Ndjadila, Jerry Tjizoo, Herman “Botsotso” Tobias and Bakka Adams.
Ipinge began his career with the Birds’ feeder team Young Blue Waters featuring mostly in curtain raisers, exhibition matches or low-key knockout tournaments in neigbouring towns such as Swakopmund and mining town Arandis.
With the Birds number one shot-stopper Samuel “Bonettie” Niilenge starting to get a bit long in the tooth (ageing) – time was up to find a suitable successor and young Asser just perfectly fitted the bill as he was gradually drafted into the Birds’ first team, deputizing Bonettie’s son Alpha Amunyela between the sticks.
After a few cameo roles, Ipinge unexpectedly jumped ship deserting the Birds’ nest - only to resurface at Katutura giants Tigers Football Club in 1994.
At the time, Ingwe’s regular shot-stopper George Bandike Ochurub was entering the twilight of his flourishing football career and Ipinge’s unavoidable arrival was just what the good doctor had ordered for the ambitious Donkerhoek outfit.
He made his debut for Tigers in a 1-all draw against African Stars at Windhoek’s Independence Stadium as a second substitute during Namibia’s Independence Celebrations in 1994 – replacing the ageing Ochurub, who had just conceded a goal from an innocent harmless looking long-range delivery.
However, it was not a smooth-sailing induction for the boy from the Atlantic Ocean as he was jostling for the number one jersey with Philemon “Fly” Ambunda. Ipinge’s arrival at Tigers coincided with a new revolution at the club with the introduction of a significant number of highly gifted young footballers entering the fray.
The club won back-to-back NFA Cups in 1995 and 1996 respectively and were the most exciting team to watch until tragedy struck when the team’s finest player and chief architect Helmut “Teenage” Iyambo’s promising career was cut short through a bullet in a senseless shooting accident. May his soul rest in peace.
Sadly, as fate would dictate Ipinge took a bow from the game of life after a long illness. The former Blue Waters/Tigers goalie will be laid to rest in his hometown Walvis Bay, tomorrow morning at the Kuisebmond cemetery.
A memorial service will be held at the Hosiana Church in the Kuisebmond residential area this afternoon at 19h00. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
2019-01-18 11:09:38 29 days ago