SA boytjie in the US

Washington. - A Free Stater, who excelled in soccer and rugby at home, has found fame on the artificial surfaces of American gridiron football pitches.

Gary Anderson, the Minnesota VikingsÆ place kicker rewrote history on Sunday when he kicked the winning goal against the Buffalo Bills in the dying moments of the game.

The goal ensured a career record of 2004 points to the 41-year-old Anderson, the most points ever scored in the history of the National Football League (NFL).

His achievement was the highlight of a 19-year career with the NFL, a career far removed from his home town Parys on the banks of the Vaal River or the soccer fields of Brentwood High School in Durban.

He inherited his ball skills from his father, the Reverend Douglas Anderson, who played professional soccer in England before moving to South Africa.

"As a child I spent thousands of hours kicking a ball. Little did I realise at the time, that I was developing talents for a sport I had never even seen before," he said.

The Anderson family moved to the US in 1977 where the 18-year-old Gary registered as a student at the Syracuse University. In his first year he was the top goal kicker for the universityÆs soccer side and he also played rugby.

But his life changed after a football coach "discovered" him at the universityÆs training camp.

Apart from kicking goals, Anderson also had a special ability to accurately place kick just about every ball given to him. He graduated in 1982 with a degree in business management and accounting, the same year he was offered a contract with the Buffalo Bills.

It turned out to be the same team against whom he would rewrite history 19 years later. "It could not have happened in a more special way," Anderson said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 788 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 9160 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 1076 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.92
-0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.08
+0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.62
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.52
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.7%
Gold
1,710.00
-0.4%
Silver
20.41
-1.1%
Palladium
2,283.14
+1.1%
Platinum
920.50
-0.2%
Brent Crude
93.37
+1.7%
Top 40
59,506
+0.5%
All Share
65,911
+0.5%
Resource 10
63,387
-0.5%
Industrial 25
80,145
+1.1%
Financial 15
14,013
+0.4%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE