Derby fever … the countdown to Saturday begins. The fans can’t wait and everybody’s looking forward to it! But let’s take a moment to go back in time with Banks and Ace as they tell us about a derby in the mid '70s that neither of them will ever forget …
Peter: Gentlemen, it’s derby week, the big one … Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs …
Banks: Memories, beautiful memories.
Ace: Ey, yes, football games in South Africa don’t come bigger than a Chiefs/Pirates clash … they are magic. Man, I’ve played in so many but they were all special.
Banks: Oh yes … especially when we used to beat Pirates, ha, ha.
Ace: Of course.
Peter: Yes, before you guys start on about all the times Chiefs beat Pirates, one result that a Soccer-Laduma reader reminded us about is how Pirates beat Chiefs 3-1 in the second leg of a BP final in the mid ‘70s … the reason being that Mthofi Khumalo scored a hat trick and very few, if any players scored hat tricks in Chiefs vs Pirates derbies …
Ace: You’re right, but I’m not sure if it was a BP Final or a Champions of Champions Final, it’s so long ago.
Banks: Ey, man, don’t remind me. I remember that game well, everything about that game, even what happened afterwards.
Peter: How come?
Banks: First of all, Mthofi Khumalo came to Pirates from African Wanderers and Wanderers have always had a jinx on Kaizer Chiefs.
Ace: Yes, even from our days. For some reason, African Wanderers have always taken points off us. Many a season it would be at least one victory and a draw for Wanderers against us.
Peter: And Wanderers did it again recently beating Chiefs at home … amazing.
Banks: You know I think it all started because of Ten Ten Nzimande, who became our captain. Remember he was a big, tough midfield destroyer for us.
Ace: Yes, we told the Soccer-Laduma readers the story many issues ago … you know the time Ewert Nene and two other officials stole him in his pyjamas from a Wanderers camp and drove him to Jo’burg.
Banks: There was no such thing as a transfer in those days, or proper negotiations … it was cowboy time … the Wild West.
Ace: Maybe they put a spell on us. You know Wanderers are big into their muti … so just maybe they put a spell on Chiefs.
Peter: If their muti is so strong, why can’t they stay in the PSL? Why can’t it save them from relegation?
Banks: Maybe it only works on Chiefs. Funny enough, the only player I can think of that Chiefs signed from Wanderers since the days of Ten Ten is Nomvete … Maybe there have been one or two others, but Nomvete is the only one to make an impact since Ten Ten. At least Chiefs paid for Nomvete so maybe the spell should be broken because of that, ha, ha!
Peter: Okay … back to the derby, Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs … Mthofi Khumalo got a hat trick when Pirates beat Chiefs in the final … Let’s hear the story.
Banks: The first leg of the final was in PE and we beat Pirates 1-0. Mthofi was on the bench. Then came the second leg and once again Mthofi was on the bench.
Ace: And with 20 minutes to go we were winning 1-0 and therefore leading Pirates 2-0 on aggregate … the game and the trophy was ours, or so we thought.
Banks: Until Mthofi came off the substitutes bench with 20 minutes to go. The first goal he scored from a scramble in the box from a corner. When the ball hit the back of the net I was lying semi-conscious on the ground. A week before the final, Peter ‘Terror’ Mathebula, the boxer, got knocked out in a world championship fight at the Orlando Stadium. He was, like me, also from Randfontein. The next day the paper had a big picture of Terror on the deck out cold and me in a picture next to it, also out cold on the ground. The headline went like this, ‘The boys from Randfontein are down, but for how long … maybe forever.’ It was quite funny at the time.
Ace: Anyway … as Banks was saying, with 20 minutes to go, we were cruising 2-0 on aggregate to victory, but Mthofi came on and scored a hat trick to give Orlando Pirates a 3-1 victory over us and a 3-2 win on aggregate to take the trophy and the honour of a derby victory.
Banks: Mthofi was brilliant that day, he did everything right. After the game, the sponsors had a presentation on the field and he won the man of the match award, he even won the highest goalscorer of tournament award. The only award he didn’t win was the player of the tournament award, because he only played 20 minutes …
Ace: Ha, ha …
Banks: After every game, win or lose, I used to go to the opponents’ dressing room and say well done to our opponents. This time was no exception and I said to Mthofi Khumalo, “Man, you should have saved some of your goals for a rainy day. You will never play as well again and you’ll never score again because you used up all your luck in this one game, in only 20 minutes.”
Peter: Shame man, Banksie, the guy did well.
Banks: Well, I was only joking but it seems he took me seriously.
Ace: Ha, ha.
Banks: You see he only played two or three more games after that and then just disappeared for a long time.
Ace: People were saying that when Banksie went into the Pirates dressing room he bewitched Mthofi Khumalo to get revenge for the hat trick he put past Banksie that day.
Peter: And did you, Banksie?
Banks: Ha, ha … no man … no … never.
Peter: Till next time, guys …
Ace: Take it easy.
Banks: Just like Sunday morning.