Former Bafana captain set to release a tell-all book

2018-06-20 16:30
Local football bad boy and former Bafana Bafana captain Mbulelo Mabizela is writing a tell-all book about how his bad behaviour stopped him from being one of the country’s most influential players.

Local football bad boy and former Bafana Bafana captain Mbulelo Mabizela is writing a tell-all book about how his bad behaviour stopped him from being one of the country’s most influential players. (Ian Carbutt)

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Former Bafana Bafana captain Mbulelo ‘Old John’ Mabizela is set to publish a tell-all book about his bad boy days and how his behaviour stopped him from being one of the country’s top players.

The Pietermaritzburg-born player is one of the best defenders South Africa has ever produced but by his own admission his attitude stopped him reaching his true potential.

Mabizela’s antics caused him to be in the news for all the wrong reasons and today he is still viewed as the poster boy of “soccer bad boys” in the country.

In 2006 as a Mamelodi Sundowns player, he was handed a six-month ban from football due to drug offences.

He was also reported to have had a number of run-ins with coaches such as Clive Barker.

Mabizela, now 37 years old, hopes that writing a book about his career spanning 15 years will not only shed some light on what led to his behaviour but also help other players not to make the same mistakes.

It’s not clear when the book will be out, but the star promised it will be a good read.

“Everything that happened while I was playing will be published in the book and what actually led to those incidents. This book is about me, I want to tell my story,” Mabizela said on Tuesday, while remaining cautious about letting out too many secrets.

“I believe my story can help other players to do better than I did during my playing days.”

Mabizela started his professional career as a footballer at Maritzburg City in 2000 before joining Orlando Pirates a year later in the Premier Soccer League. Because of his talent, Mabizela was signed by English Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur in 2003.

However, the Edendale-born player had his contract with the Eng­lish giants terminated in 2004 due to several disciplinary issues, which included missing training sessions.

He also had a stint in Norway where he won a league title with Valerenga before making his way back home to join Sundowns two years later.

“I have a number of regrets in my life but I think the one that tops the list is my behaviour,” said the former Sundowns player.

“The book is going to reveal how my behaviour affected my career. I won’t say much right now but I promise it will all be in the book.

“There’s nothing I am going to leave out in that book including why I changed my surname from Old John to Mabizela because a lot of people don’t know why I had to change it.

“I also believe I should have captained Bafana Bafana in the 2010 Fifa World Cup but that didn’t happen because of my behaviour.”

Mabizela also revealed that there will also be a documentary film about his life, which he is going to put together with the help of his friend and former soccer player Ayanda Thapelo Shabalala.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  pietermaritzburg  |  mbulelo mabizela

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