SA soccer legend Mandy Davids dies

Mandy Davids (Photo supplied)
Mandy Davids (Photo supplied)

Cape Town - Mandy Davids, regarded as the best goal-keeper in South Africa in the early 1960s, passed away at his home in Bosmont, Johannesburg on Wednesday.

He was 84 years old.

Born on the July 17, 1932 in Germiston, one of seven children, Davids attended school at Sigamoney Coloured and Indian Primary School.

He was then moved to City and Suburban Primary School because of the group areas act and finished at William Hill High School in Benoni.

He joined West End Rovers at the tender age of 11 playing in the Transvaal Independent Football League (TIFA).

Davids represented TIFA teams at all levels.

He represented Transvaal “coloured” teams and TIFA in the Stuttafords Cup in 1954 (Durban), 1956 (Johannesburg), 1958 (Cape Town), 1960 (Johannesburg) and as result was selected to play in the Kajee Cup.

In 1954, he was selected for SA Coloureds to play against the SA Indians and Bantus at Wembley Stadium in Johannesburg. 1958, he was again selected to play against the Indians at the Natalspruit grounds and Bantus in Cape Town.

After the formation of the SASFPL in 1960, “Mannie” joined Transvaal United and won the league with them in 1961.

He also won a K/O final medal against Cape Ramblers in Cape Town the same year.

Davids joined the great Blackpool team in 1962 which included the great Oliver “Gandhi” Adams, Ralph “Butch” Hendricks, Harold “Tossie’ Crowder, Vernon Camhee among the legends of the time.

Defying the draconian apartheid laws he joined Orlando Pirates in 1963 from the great Blackpool team for what was described as the biggest transfer to take place in South Africa at the time.

Davis became the first coloured player to play for Orlando Pirates. A year after signing for Pirates, he was appointed captain of Orlando Pirates, taking over the armband from Eric “Scara” Sono.

In 1963, Davids was selected for the Non Racial South African Soccer Federation Professional League (SASFPL) team to tour India. The South African Nationalist Party Government refused to grant the touring team visas to travel and the tour was cancelled.

In 1967 after retiring from active football, he formed Bosmont Pirates and affiliated the junior and youth teams to the Bosmont Football Association (BFA), a grassroots Non Racial structure affiliated to the South African Soccer Federation.

Here he helped develop and nurture young junior footballers, including his eldest son Craig who also went on to play professionally for Swaraj United and Bosmont Chelsea in the SASFPL.

In November 2011, the Bosmont Football Association honoured Davids for his lifelong contribution to Non Racial Sport and Association Football.

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