Namibian football is a great deal indebted to the now defunct Windhoek City Football Club, the only semi-professional football team during the turbulent times of racial segregation in Apartheid South West Africa (SWA).
The club competed in the highly competitive South African Provincial National Football League (NFL) second tier division and would attract top clubs to their home ground, the Windhoek showground on Friday evenings.
To make the club competitive, City were obliged to ship in a number of high profile footballers from neighbouring South Africa such as Don Corbet, George Hill, Ian Wood, Jimmy Orchard, Bob Koudelka, Vic Lovell, Peter Rath, Bill O’Grady, Ian Buchanan but none other than a lanky forward going by the name of Richard “Ziggy” Anderson caught the eye.
New Era Sport finally caught up with latter as he relives his amazing football that started way back in the Mother City with boyhood club Hellenic Football Club.
WINDHOEK – Born Richard Ziggy Anderson on the 26th of November 1948 in Cape Town, South Africa, the lanky forward started his football career with amateur local club St Agnes FC, playing alongside another football great, the late Wayne Jones.
The latter also made his mark in Namibian football, representing his adopted country at provincial level in the prestigious annual Currie Cup.
He registered his first hat trick for St Agnes against Tramway in the semifinal of the annual popular O’Reilly Cup in 1966, as a 17-year old youngster, barely out of his pair of shorts.
A diehard supporter of Spanish giants Barcelona, Ziggy made his professional debut in the highly competitive NFL with Hellenic against Pretoria outfit Arcadia Shepherds in 1969. He never looked back banging in goals at will as if the art of bustling the net was going out of fashion.
Your typical old fashion forward, Ziggy represented Western Province at all age levels winning numerous silverware and personal accolades that included multiple golden boot awards in the process.
Blessed with an amazing first touch, speed and good eye for goal Ziggy played alongside some of the finest footballers in the business that included the great Wilf de Bruin, George Eastham, Sergio Dos Santos (ex Kaizer Chiefs) and Austrian import Peter Rath.
Ziggy played a pivotal role when Hellenic won its first ever Championship title in 1970. What made the victory sweeter was the fact it came at the expense of cross town rivals Cape Town City who finished as runners up. It was also the first time in the history of the club to finish in the top five brackets.
His goal scoring exploits did not go unnoticed as officials from Windhoek City came knocking on his door, dangling a juicy carrot in his baby face, enticing him to exchange life in the mother city for the laid back city life of Windhoek.
Ziggy arrived in Namibia’s commercial capital Windhoek amidst much fanfare in 1973 and immediately carved himself a place in the hearts of the football crazy Windhoek City followers. He was an instant hit amongst the fans as his presence in the squad improved the Citizens tremendously.
He announced his arrival for Windhoek City with a well taken hat trick against Johannesburg franchise Southern Suburbs. Former teammates Billy O’Grady, Peter Rath and burly shot stopper Vic Lovell would join him at Windhoek City soon afterwards.
“Vic (Lovell) actually joined the club as player/coach, it was indeed a great feeling to have a couple of my homeboys in the squad but nevertheless I had great times in Windhoek and would like go back there r a visit because I’ve never been to Namibia ever since I left the country,” reveals Ziggy during an interview with New Era Sport.
Ziggy led the firing line when a strung Central Eleven confronted the visiting Soweto giant giants Kaizer Chiefs in exhibition matches at the Windhoek show ground and Katutura field, respectively.
He also played against the visiting Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City when the pair of South Africans outfits toured SWA for exhibition matches against Windhoek City, at the Showground.
And by the time local authorities sanctioned an exhibition football match, albeit reluctantly, between an All Whites Invitational team against their Blacks counterparts in 1976 – Ziggy’s name was amongst the first on the team list.
Ziggy played a blinder in the historical sold out racial tension filled clash of the titans at the national rugby stadium where blacks were restricted to watch the tension laden exhibition match from the open stand whilst the privileged whites were seated in the comfort of suits on the grand stand.
With racial pride at stake, the Ziggy Anderson’s inspired All Whites Eleven came out tops with a narrow 2-1 win – thanks to goalkeeper Vic Lovell’s heroics between the sticks. The giant shot stopper denied the Blacks a share of the spoils when he gathered Oscar Mengo’s weakly struck spot kick.
It was the second match of such nature after the first match ended in controversial fashion the previous year. Politics and supremacy tendencies trickled down to the field when the match referee Wolfgang Egerer, awarded a highly dubious thrice taken spot kick to the whites for an undeserved equalizer (3-3).
The Blacks point blankly refused to share the trophy and left the field in anger feeling hard done by the referee’s shoddy officiating. As it turned out, Egerer finally confessed 37 years later that he was under instructions from the authorities to make damn sure that the blacks did not come out triumphant. May his soul rest in peace.
Ultimately, those particular matches paved the way for the amalgamation of football leagues, leading to the unavoidable birth of multiracial football in Apartheid South West Africa in 1977. It also signaled the end of Windhoek City FC with the majority of squad members swallowed up by newly formed team Combined Banks.
Ziggy, together with former City teammates Ian Buchanan, Peter Rath, Ian Wood, George Hill and Vic Lovell all joined forces with the newly formed team but most of the squad members were getting a little bit long in the tooth.
Sadly, the team only lasted half a season before it went the way of the dinosaur with Ziggy retreating to his native Cape Town.
He rates former Highlands Park tough as steak defender Charlie Glough as his most difficult opponent during his playing days and still has fond memories of Hartleyayle and iconic Green Point stadiums (Cape Town) and Rand Stadium (Johannesburg).
Like many great athletes, Ziggy was not a saint and had few run-ins with match officials but regrets being sent off for flooring an opponent in an ill-tempered NFL match against Southern Suburbs. Nonetheless, his impressive football resume includes representing Western Province at all age groups and the SWA Currie Cup side with distinction.
And who says there’s no life after football, nowadays a much respected Missionary, Ziggy is the incumbent South African Base Director for Chinese Church Support Ministries and is happily hooked to his gorgeous bird Bernice who bore him three children Ian, Andrea and Kenneth with a sextet bubbling grandchildren completing the Anderson household.
2019-09-06 09:56:48 | 4 months ago