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Still In Touch With Frank 'Jingles' Pereira

Soccer Laduma’s ‘In Touch’ & ‘Still In Touch’ feature has been a fan favourite for almost two decades in Soccer Laduma’s weekly newspaper. 

Millions of readers turn to it first each week to read the crazy stories that Mzansi’s former players tell and to see current soccer stars dish the dirt on their teammates and coaches. 

Over the years, together with our readers, we have laughed uncontrollably and gasped with disbelief at stories that have never been told before!

Due to the incredible success and reading pleasure over the years and the timeless nature of this incredible content, Soccer Laduma has dug through the archives to bring back to life some of the gems you may have missed, or simply want to re-read and share with your friends. 

This week, we look back to 27 January 2010 in issue number 655, where Kaizer Chiefs legend Frank ‘Jingles’ Pereira really takes us back in time, to the 1980s, where it was all happening for Amakhosi, and the players created a lot of fun in camp. Jingles, who also turned out for Cape Town City, also shares a story about being escorted out of the stadium once. Those were the days indeed!

'Jingles' had an illustrious football career that started way back in 1963 and ended in 1984. He joined Cape Town City in 1972 and says winning a league title with the club, the first for them after an 11-year drought, will remain in his memory forever. He reveals that when Mario Tuani convinced him to join Kaizer Chiefs in 1980, saying, “Look, you started out with me, so you must close the chapter of your football with me”, he knew this was an opportunity he wouldn’t miss for the world.

Jingles, how did you get your nickname?

Well, I always had two pennies hidden in my pocket as a 10-year-old playing football. Back then the senior players used to come and watch the juniors play. When one of the seniors, Bobby Farrol, heard the noise that the money was making as I was running out there, he screamed, “Jingle Bells!” and that’s how the nickname stuck. Funny, hey…two big pennies in my pocket!

Tell us about your teammates at Kaizer Chiefs, the last team you played for in your illustrious football career.

I used to share a room with Peta Bala’c. He was an excellent goalkeeper who was very dedicated to his job. He could read the game so well and never stopped talking. One time I told him I was going to get him one of those things you put over a dog’s head to stop it from barking. He made many amazing reflex saves, more like Itumeleng Khune, although he dealt with crosses better. He’d tell his defence throughout the game, “Watch there, turn around, look to the left, look to the right.” Most of the time we would stay overnight at the hotel with guys like Ryder Mofokeng, Bull Lehoko, Meshack Mjanqeka, the late Ace Ntsoelengoe, Wagga-Wagga Likoebe and so on. We would play cards, dominoes or go watch movies. Obviously muti was a big thing! We had our masseur, Joe Mashinini, who looked after us very well. He always performed his little duties. He would put on a primus stove and put a big pot of water on top. When the water boiled, we would be called together and he would put a blanket over us and we would have a sauna. When I said, “I can’t breathe” my plea would fall on deaf ears. I ended up believing in muti, but the one thing I never wanted was to be cut. I even told Kaizer Motaung, “Look, I can do all this other stuff, but I don’t believe in being cut.”

Sure, go on…

Teenage Dladla was helluva funny, while Malombo Lechaba was the jazz man of the team, you know, as he used to start songs. I also used to play a few jokes on the guys. We used to shower after games. I would shower and then put my shirt and socks on and, without having put my pants on, I’d say to the guys, “Hey, I’m out of here, see you Monday gents!” They would be like, “Are you crazy?” Ha, ha, ha. Banks Setlhodi had crazy jokes. One time he teased the late Bra Satch, whose first name I forget. Bra Satch worked as a security guard at the club. He was from Ladybrand and Banks told him, “I see you’ve got many sheep there.” Bra Satch said, “Ja, I’ve got sheep.” Then Banks said, “I know you guys in Ladybrand. You steal sheep there! You take them, make them wear a jacket and a hat and then make them stagger around like tipsy men. When you meet people on the way, you say,“Come shorty, why are you so drunk, walk properly!’” Ha, ha!

You played for many teams…there must be more crazy characters you got to know through football.

When I was playing for Powerlines back in the late ’60s, we had a Spanish guy who came to play for us. He couldn’t speak English. We were at the hotel when he came with his plate and said, “Chips patata!” I knew he wanted some chips on his plate, but when the waiter asked me what the guy was saying, I said, “He says he wants everything, he’s very hungry!” Ha, ha, ha. The waiter then put all the chips on his plate and the guy said, “No, no, no!” I almost got into trouble with the coach Mario Tuani for that, but I told him I had misheard the guy. Yhoo, the guy was so upset with me and he wanted to fight. He used to tell us that in Spain they steal a lot. He said there was this one guy who went to a supermarket. He looked around, grabbed a chicken, put it under his arm and ran out. The owner shouted, “There’s a thief, stop him!” The guy kept on running when suddenly a policeman appeared in front of him. The owner said, “Police, catch him, he stole a chicken.” Then the guy stopped running and just started walking slowly. The cop asked him, “Where’s the chicken? He said, “Which chicken?” To which the policeman replied, “There, under your arm!” The man responded in a shocked voice, “Who put this chicken here?” Ha, ha.

Let’s talk about Mario Tuani…

(Cuts in) Ha, ha! There was a guy named Ricky Flyn who came to play for us at Highlands Park. He worked for a sports shop in Jo’burg. One time Mario said to him, “Flyn, do you sell running shoes there?” Ricky said, “Yes, mister. What size do you wear?” Mario said, “Nine or half past nine!” Ha, ha! He wanted to say nine or nine-and-a-half.

Tell us one more story before we go.

At Cape Town City we had a lot of Coloured players, guys like Danny Abrahams, Donny King, Clive Darius, Dicky Benjamin and others. We went to play in Umlazi in Zululand and we were 2-0 up against AmaZulu. One of our players tackled one of their players quite badly and the crowd went mad. At halftime they wouldn’t let us leave the field to go into the change room. The late Peter Martin had just taken over from our previous coach Frank Lord. We were standing in the middle of the field with the AmaZulu players, their chairman and Peter. The AmaZulu chairman went up to Peter and said, “Look, come with me to the fence and we’ll cool the crowd down.” As they went towards the fence, one of the supporters jumped over and threw a big, big stone, just missing both of them…and they quickly ran back to the middle! Danny Abrahams made a joke about it, telling Peter, “You went there as Mighty Mouse and you came back as Mickey Mouse.” I thought that was hilarious! We were escorted out of the stadium and the game was abandoned.

 

STILL IN TOUCH FUN FACTS:

Best player I’ve ever faced: Ace Mnini

Best player I’ve played with: Walter da Silva

Biggest pay cheque: R10 000

Smallest pay cheque: R10

Former team that used the most muti: Kaizer Chiefs

Favourite current player:Itumeleng Khune and Siphiwe Tshabalala

Current occupation: Owner of a toilet paper manufacturing company

Former teams: Vaal United, Powerlines, Highlands Park, Jewish Guild, Cape Town City, Kaizer Chiefs

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