Stiga's heart is at home

By Drum Digital
08 December 2010

SOME soccer stars are renowned as much for their off-the-field antics as they are for what they do on the pitch. Womanising, bingedrinking, getting into trouble with the law... you name it, they’ve done it. But for one player nothing matters more than being with his family.

Stanton Fredericks, the seasoned 33-yearold Bidvest Wits midfielder, is a real homebody – and now that he and his wife, Guinevere, and six-year-old son, Diego, have returned to South Africa after almost two years in Greece, he couldn’t be happier.“It’s great to be home,” he says when we meet him at his five-bedroom house in Florida, Roodepoort. “I’m so glad I won’t have to say goodbyes at the airport anymore.”

Stanton, casually dressed in a T-shirt and stone-washed jeans, sips a McDonald’s cooldrink as he leads us past the fountain in the front of his house and into his stunning home.

“This is my son – I call him S’khokho (The Man),” he says proudly as Diego trots up. Guinevere is relaxing on a stylish stool in the kitchen where the family is in the middle of a McDonald’s lunch.

She’s quick to point out her bulging tummy isn’t from the food – she and Stanton are expecting their second child.

“I’m five months pregnant,” she says with a smile. “This baby was long overdue.”

Stanton is delighted at the prospect of becoming a father again. “I score on the field and now I’ve scored off the field too,” he says S with a chuckle.

“Yes, this is a real World Cup baby,” Guinevere adds. “We conceived during the tournament.”

“Shabba scored a beautiful goal and I couldn’t let him beat me, so I scored too,” Stanton jokes.

He takes us around his house, through the living room with its purple suede couches and into the TV room where cream leather sofas are arranged in front of a unit filled with a state-of-the-art entertainment centre, including a large Samsung plasma TV.

Medals and trophies Stanton has won throughout his career are proudly displayed on the shelves.

“I’ve achieved a lot but it was all hard work. And my wife kept me focused – she handled all my nonsense,” Stanton says as we make our way to what he calls the “blue room” – a large entertainment room with a blue sofa and a variety of equipment such as a pool table and a piano.

A bar in the corner has shelves filled with drinks – ideal for when Stanton has the guys over for a game of pool.

Meanwhile in the kitchen Stanton’s mother, Benita (53), is cooking up a storm.

“Stanton is still like a kid to me,” says bubbly Benita who lives with her son and his family. “The first thing he does in the morning is come to my room and say, ‘Mama, what are we having for breakfast?’ I tell him, ‘Hey, I’m not your wife – go ask your wife to make you breakfast!’ ”

Stanton and Guinevere met 14 years ago when he was playing for the national under- 20 team. They were an item for years before they finally tied the knot last year at a lavish ceremony attended by soccer stars such as Shaun Bartlett, Daine Klate, Fabian Mc Carthy and Dillon Sheppard (At last we’re married, 9 July 2009).

“Getting married is the best thing I’ve ever done,” he says. “It’s been over a year now and it’s only getting better.”

Guinevere is still harbouring one gripe, though. “We didn’t manage to go on our honeymoon because of Stanton’s hectic schedule,” she laments.

“It’s difficult sometimes being married to a soccer star – he has a lot of commitments and there are always female fans wanting kisses even when I’m right there next to him. But I understand it’s part of being famous.”

STIGA, as Stanton is known, knows he owes a lot to soccer. It helps him live an enviable life and means he’s capable of affording the sleek silver BMW 3 series parked outside, along with the wheels he has bought the women in his life – Guinevere’s metallic black Opel Astra and Benita’s burly black Nissan Qashqai.

Unlike many soccer stars, Stanton, who grew up in the tough Jozi neighbourhood of Westbury, didn’t always dream of becoming a player.

Read the full article in DRUM of 9 December 2010

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