No goalkeeper ever likes conceding a goal, even if his team is ahead on the score sheet. After all, it’s a matter of pride! So why would legendary Chiefs keeper Banks Setlhodi laugh instead of getting upset when he let in a goal? Read on, and the mystery will be solved … with a good few laughs along the way! Let’s join Banks, Ace and Peter …
Banks: And kicking.
Ace: You know, Banksie, you mentioned Chris ‘Rollaway’ Ndlovu recently.
Ace: Well, that reminds me of the game against Lusitano, that famous game, remember how Rollaway tried to stop the whole Lusitano team on his own and how we all laughed like hell after the game when you described his actions to all of us in the dressing room, ha, ha.
Banks: Ja, ja … ha, ha.
Peter: Come on … tell us … what’s so funny?
Ace: Banksie must tell you, it was hilarious but you have to use your imagination because it’s a very visual story. Go on Banksie, you tell it. Tell the story like you told it in the dressing room after our great victory over Lusitano.
Banks: Sure … man, it was funny. But first, to our younger readers, let me give you the background. Lusitano were a top team who were Portuguese-owned and had all the support of the Portuguese community in Jo’burg and, as you can imagine, they had big support and a lot of money behind the team. I think they won the league a few times and Joe Frickleton was coaching them.
Peter: That’s right. ‘Smokin’ Joe’ the legendary coach of the mighty Highlands Park … he also coached Chiefs and Pirates.
Ace: That’s right. Joe was a tough, tough coach …
Banks: Ja, anyway, Joe knew, like Ewert Nene, how to get publicity for a game so he told the media that he’d run naked through Commissioner Street in Jo’burg if Chiefs beat his team Lusitano.
Ace: Now remember, Chiefs were the hope of the Black people and Lusitano were all White. We knew that we had the hopes of the majority of Black people in the country, hoping and praying that we’d beat Lusitano. Remember this was at the height of apartheid. There was a lot of tension around this game. Both teams were very good and the Rand Stadium, Lusitano’s home ground, was packed mostly with Chiefs supporters but also at least 10 000 Lusitano supporters. So the atmosphere was very good.
Peter: The Rand Stadium holds about 40 000 but there must have been 50 000 in the stadium that day - 40 000 Chiefs supporters and 10 000 Lusitano supporters … and a field full of stars. Those were the days!
Ace: Ja …
Banks: We’ve told the story of the game before, but this time the story is about Rollaway. We eventually beat Lusitano 2-1 and just as a reminder from last time Joe has yet to fulfill his promise to run naked down Commissioner Street.
Peter: Actually, Joe Frickleton referred to it in his Golden Oldies interview with Mario Diplock a few issues back …
Ace: Ja, I read it.
Banks: Anyway, as I was saying, the score was 2-0 to Chiefs at this stage and we were doing all the attacking. The atmosphere was electric and Computer Lamola was pulling the strings in the game.
Ace: He was magic that day … as usual.
Banks: Ja. So it’s 2-0 and we get a free-kick. Bull Lehoko went up for it and all the Lusitano players went back to defend. They left nobody to attack so I just called Rollaway back to stay on the halfway line. We took the free-kick and Bull rose majestically to head home to make it 3-0.
Ace: Bull ran behind the Lusitano goals to celebrate, all of us were running to grab Bull to join in the celebration, only Banksie and Rollaway were left in our half.
Banks: For some unknown reason the referee disallowed the goal. Now Peta Bala’c, who was in goals for Lusitano, this was before he joined Kaizer Chiefs, also thought it was a goal because he picked the ball out the net with his hands and booted it in disgust. You know how keepers do … the ball was high in the air and landed just in our half. The Lusitano team realised that the ref had disallowed the goal and they saw all of us Chiefs players behind the goal celebrating.
Ace: The ref was either mad or cheating.
Banks: Ja, so there were at least seven Lusitano players all chasing the ball in our half, eventually I think that Malcolm Filby got the ball and he ran towards our goals. It was only me, I had run back to my goal line, and poor Chris ‘Rollaway’ Ndlovu in front of the seven of them to defend our goal. Chris was on the edge of the 18-yard box.
Peter: Oh no …
Ace: Ja, imagine.
Banks: Those seven Lusitano players started passing the ball between them and Chris, ha, ha. I can still see him now … You know Chris was short, stout, stocky and a hellava determined fellow, he was chasing them all - like a mad little dog biting at all their legs, chasing the ball ha, ha. He was trying to tackle all seven of them!
Ace: I can still see him even today, going crazy chasing the ball and, at the same time, screaming at the ref that he’s a cheat!
Banks: I’m telling you, he was going left and right like a windscreen wiper. It was amazing - it was like he was wound up. He was going at an unbelievable speed left and right. As I say, he was like a superfast windscreen wiper, screaming and waving his arms at the ref and the Lusitano players. And also screaming for the rest of the Chiefs players to get back and help.
Ace: Unfortunately, as we got back, Lusitano scored to make it 2-1.
Banks: But instead of getting upset, I just burst out laughing at the way Rollaway was defending. Man, like his life depended on it! Ha, ha, even now, as you can see, I’m still crying with laughter …
(At this stage both Ace and Banks collapsed with uncontrollable laughter as they remembered Rollaway’s last stand against Lusitano.)
Peter: Okay guys …
Banks: Also, you know Peter, Rollaway had the smallest voice you’ve ever heard. It was so high and squeaky, and when he got angry, it got even higher and squeakier. And that’s what made the whole thing even funnier!
Ace: I’ve still got this picture of Rollaway in my mind, with him holding his knees and panting after the Lusitano goal was scored and screaming at the ref in his high voice … After the game we were all celebrating the victory, as you can imagine, and then Banksie took centre stage and did an impersonation of Rollaway when Lusitano scored. And the whole dressing room of us Chiefs players spent the next hour laughing our heads off … ey, it was a great end to a great game …
Peter: Now, gents, time to relax … and take it easy.
Ace&Banks: Just like Sunday morning … until next week.