Committed to the club

2017-06-13 13:45
Savages Football Club chairperson Benjamin Hartshorne ... ‘Savages is my passion. I love what the club stands for’.

Savages Football Club chairperson Benjamin Hartshorne ... ‘Savages is my passion. I love what the club stands for’. (Ian Carbutt)

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Savages Football Club stalwart Benjamin Hartshorne has a passion for community soccer and loves the city of Pietermaritzburg.

A former chairperson of Savages Football Club and of Pietermaritzburg Collegians Club, Hartshorne (63) proves to be a “jack of all trades” as he takes us through the journey of his life and his role at Savages.

“Strangely enough I only started playing soccer in my twenties. Growing up I was never into sport, I never thought I was good at it, I actually thought I was terrible at it.

“I played for local soccer clubs which were around those days then moved to Savages later. I have been with Savages for over 20 years but I am now in a managerial role.

“Savages is my passion. I love what the club stands for, my love for Savages has grown since its transformation. The club transformed even before the democratic government came about. The club is colour blind and everyone is welcome.

“Savages is an NPO, we raise our own funds and we have never received any big sponsorships. We have outreach programmes, which I am very hands on with.

“We also help impoverished communities and sponsor jerseys for other local soccer teams. We go to underprivileged communities to play soccer matches and encourage sports in communities.

“The club distributes teaching aids to underprivileged children.

“Savages is part of Pietermaritzburg, many local families have historical connections with the club.

“I am an electrician by trade. Studied teaching and taught at Sukuma Comprehensive School for a couple of years. I have lectured at local FET colleges and also worked at the local university as the electrical manager.

“I have a deep love for the city of Pietermaritzburg. My parents and I were born here and I was fortunate enough to meet my beautiful wife of 42 years here.

“We have three grown-up sons, including one adopted son.

“I’ve travelled around the world but I have always come back home to Pietermaritzburg, this is where our hearts and souls are.

“Pietermaritzburg is small but also very big because many people here have big hearts, this is home and I don’t see my life anywhere else,” said Hartshorne.

He said he is currently preoccupied with planning Savages Football Club’s 135th celebration.

Savages are the oldest surviving football club on the African continent with their roots firmly planted in Pietermaritzburg.

The club’s 135th birthday bash will take place on August 19.

• Benjamin Hartshorne as told to Nompilo Kunene.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pmb people

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