Register Login Scores

Supporters Club

George Koumantarakis And The Greek South Africans

This past weekend, we celebrated Heritage Day. The beautiful thing about our country is that it is made up of many weird and wonderful cultures, and today you will be hearing about all different kinds in Supporters Club.

We will start with mine. I am informally known as a Greek South African, but I have a Zimbabwean mother. My father grew up in Cyprus and apparently came to know a man there who was the father of ex-Bafana Bafana striker George Koumantarakis.

Apparently, as children, they used to play football in the street. My father must have been in his twenties while "Big George" was a child, but legend has it that he could hold his own in the street games that they used to play in knee-deep snow in Greece.

Fast-forward a few years, and my father and I would make a point of watching all of Big George's games. We followed him from Manning Rangers to SuperSport United. He gave us a lot of pride in the Greek South African community, that we could have someone representing us.

Greeks are mad about soccer. They talk a lot, they like to sit in barber shops and cafes and talk about football. Big George gave us a massive point of pride to talk about, he was like a son to all in the community.

It is unfortunate that he never got to shine through his full potential for Bafana Bafana. However, at the time, he had to compete with the likes of Benni McCarthy, Quinton Fortune, and Sibusiso Zuma, to name just a few. Wow! What an incredible team that was. I was just happy that Big George made the team at all.

I've never been prouder to be Greek and I've never been prouder to be South African.

Thank you for letting me share a bit of my heritage with you.

How does your heritage relate to football?

38 comments

Top 5

12 Players Who Went Bankrupt

18 Dec 07, 2020 12:34 PM in World News

Nedbank Cup Last 32 Fixtures Revealed

116 Jan 14, 2021 06:28 PM in Nedbank Cup

Official: 10 More Confirmed January Transfers

2 Jan 15, 2021 08:15 PM in International Transfers

Chiefs' Plans To Catch Downs

142 Jan 08, 2021 07:05 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

Official: 10 More Confirmed January Transfers

2 Jan 15, 2021 08:15 PM in International Transfers

Official: Man Utd Confirm Second January Exit

1 Jan 13, 2021 05:37 PM in English Premier League

‘Chiefs Genius’ Headlines Rama’s Dream Team

28 Jan 15, 2021 02:44 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

Pep Praises Brighton & Tau

7 Jan 15, 2021 10:31 AM in English Premier League

Young Guns Sends Chiefs Into Top Eight

242 Jan 16, 2021 06:54 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

14 Footballers Who Have Degrees

28 Sep 16, 2020 08:30 PM in World News

Chiefs Explain Unpleasant Trip To Angola

56 Jan 07, 2021 09:14 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

11 Footballers Who Went Broke

33 Jun 10, 2020 07:15 PM in World News

Festival & Co Lauded As Unbeaten Swallows Prepare For Bucs

6 Jan 07, 2021 03:12 PM in Orlando Pirates