Kaizer Chiefs celebrated their 47th anniversary and we have joined the festivities by taking you down memory lane with the 50 greatest ever players to feature for the Phefeni Glamour boy.
50: Tenashe Washington Nengomashe, a midfield general who worked tirelessly winning back the ball. He had a heart of a lion. A true servant of the club.
49: Trevor “kkk” Mthimkhulu, was a winger who was, later converted into a right- full-back. He was good when overlapping. A clever player with good anticipation.
48: Mohamed Ouseb, was a versatile player, could play as a central defender and central midfielder. Very comfortable on the ball and could pass very well.
47: Jackie ” Asinamali” Masike, was a very good centre- back, reliable and score goals as well when he went upfield. Before he joined the club he played for Moletsane Real Tigers with the Likes of Chilliboy Koloba. A great overall talent .
46 : Nick Sekwane, was so dominant in the air, he had spring on his soles.a good reader of the game. Had a bite in his tackles m a real no nonsense defender. Was also going going forward.
45: Itumeleng Khune, arguably one of the best players of his generation. Very agile, good feet, great distributor of the ball. A communicator , organiser and good leader at the back.
44: Howard ” The Rock” Freese, was cool, calm and collected. A good header of the ball with an educated left-foot. Could take good free kicks as well.
43: Patrick Mabedi, clever defender. A good reader of the game. A good organiser and leader at the back. He was quick off the mark and great penalty taker.
42: Arthur “10111” Zwane, a skillfull and clever intelligent midfielder who could run all day. Could create and score goals. Had a great work ethic. A top class professional on and off the field.
41: Jimmy ” The Brixton tower” Joubert, was a strapping, intimidating figure. Very dominant in the air. Very brave and a great competitor.
40: Thabo ” Tsikitsiki” Mooki, a dribbling wizard . Creator of goals. A big fan favourite . He had great technical qualities, could dictate the pace of the game. Was a great passer of the ball.
39: Collins ” Ntofontofo” Mbesuma, a goal poacher par excellence with brute force. Had pace and was explosive at his prime. A great finisher with good feet.
38: Siyabonga ” Bhele” Nomvethe, terrified defenders with his pace and trickery. Could run all day. Scored lots of goals. He had football intelligence and knew how to position himself in the box.
37: Pollen “Trompies ” Ndlanya, was a real goalscoring machine. The traditional number 9, very good playing with his back to goal . Had a great leap and power in the air.
36: Brian ” Spiderman” Baloyi, agile, great shot stopper, great reader of the game. Used his imposing physical presence to dominate his box. Was a clever player with great leadership qualities.
35: Shane Macgregor, a natural goalscorer. Could score goals from amazing angles. Good header of the ball. Perfected the art of playing on the shoulder of the last defender.
34: Albert ” mqombothi” Bwalya, was built like a middleweight boxer, powerful, quick and a great goalscorer. With hit the ball with enormous power with both feet. Was a real handful for defenders .
33: John ” Shoes” Moshoeu, a pure genius. One of the greats of his generation. Skillfull , intelligent and could create and score goals. A master of the game. A team player. The closest the country had to a Messi. Won 2 league titles during his second spell at the club upon his return from Turkey where he spent close to a decade.
32: Peter Balac, was a top class keeper. Had the ability to re-start a game quickly after making a save. Great in the air. Good reader of the games and great shot stopper. Had the safest pair of hands in the game .
31: Jack ” black stone ” Chamangwane, was a clean defender. Had good anticipation .a good reader of the game. A good organiser at the back. A top centre half.
30: Neil ” Mokoko” Tovey, started as a good energetic midfielder, who was later converted into a central defender. He made the transition seamless and was also comfortable in that position. He had good anticipation, a never say die attitude. An astute communicator; organiser and leader at the back with a winning mentality.
29: Joseph ” Banks ” Sethlodi a keeper with a big heart and someone with temperament for the big stage. Dependable and agile, great shot stopper and organiser in defence who made Chiefs solid in their backline. Like his nickname suggest a real banker at the back
28: Rudolf ” Gardner ” Seale, he had a ” devil” in him. A no nonsense defender who put his body on the line at all times. Wingers were scared of him, as he could rough them up regardless of their size. He was a tiger on the field and a wonderfully gifted left fullback with some great football attributes.
27: Absolum ” Scara” Thindwa, he packed unbelievable power in his legs. He was a real attacking force who scored a lot of crucial goals at the club. He had the knack of scoring goals in extra time. He was a menace for defenders and was an accomplished player brought in from Swaziland.
26: Fani ” Msindisi ” Madida, a pure goalscorer with lightning pace. Fast, strong and blessed with a great shooting technique. He could score goals from 30 yards using his power. Before he went to Turkey in 1992 he led the team to the League title scoring 34 league goals following the amalgamation of the NFL and NPSL and that record stood for a very long time.
25: Jingles ” Baba Ka Sbongile” Perreira, started out as a striker and was converted into a defender. A great reader of the game, he could anticipate things on the field of play with such ease to make telling interceptions without tackling or fouling. Due to his technique, he scored goals when things were tough.
24: Wellington ” Umuntu akalahlwa” Manyathi, the best screener of the defence in the modern game. He took over the position from Sylvester Kole. A good reader of game, who won many duals cleanly. He had leadership qualities and was a good teacher. He has also a good passing range for a player whose main area of expertise was more about winning the ball.
23: Johannes “Ryder” Mofokeng, was a no nonsense defender with load of energy to burn. Very quick and dependable in defence, especially when man-marking the dangerous opposition players. He could easily shackle attackers for 90 minutes, and his best eye catching duels were against the dribbling wizard Joel ” Ace” Mnini of Moroka Swallows.
22: Michael ” Bizzah” Dlamini, was a great player who was extremely versatile. He was part of the South African black IX of 1973 that played against the British All Stars. He was one of the fittest players in the team. He is one of the founding members of Kaizer Chiefs.
21: Moran ” Samora” Khulu, was a clever strike who knew his path to goals. He had loads of energy and could hustle defenders for the ball and stay sniffing around the box for opportunities. A real workaholic, who packed a mean-shot and was a great finisher. A true warrior of the game who was also named the 1985 Footballer of the year.
20: Gabriel Tikkie Khoza the uncle of Pitso Mosimane the current coach of Mamelodi Sundowns. Him and his twin brother Abraham “Mainline” Khoza, also played together at Orlando Pirates before defecting to Amakhosi. A part of the Chiefs technical team as assistant to Ted Dumitru in the 80s. A colossal player who used to impose himself in a match and was a crowd favourite.
19: Zebulon ” Sputla” Nhlapo, was a creative attacking midfielder, with an eye for goal. A firm crowd favourite who used his dazzling, dribbling skills to mesmerize opponents. His skills left defenders dazed and disoriented like a “Sputla”, vodka in a short bottle. Nhlapo was part of the famous Glamour Boys team of 1981 that won the quadruple in South Africa. He was spotted by another Chiefs star Joseph “Skheshekheshe” Mkhonza on the dusty streets of KwaThema on the East Rand.
18: Mark Tovey, good left-footed centre half. Natural leader. Good organiser, dependable and a good communicator at the back. Had great anticipation and was very brave. He used to be called “Man O Man”, because one on one he was unbeatable. A calming influence in defence who was well assured. Not too many like him in the game, unless you watched Franco Baresi of Italy in full swing
17: Jabu “Shuffle” Pule, a pure attacking talent. He had the ability to win the game on his own. He could create and score goals. He was a talisman and crowd favourite. He was a marvel to watch when running at defenders with pace. A true maverick of football but exceptionally gifted. Led Chiefs to the Mandela Cup victory in 2000 and to many domestic trophies at Naturena. He could glide between defenders with ease and one of a few players who made a scoring debut for Bafana Bafana against Lesotho in Maseru. The best talent of his generation, who fought his own demons off the field of play and was further, nicknamed “Ngwana wa Tswenya” for his antics.
16: Donald ” Ace” Khuse, a very intelligent player. Was appropriately given the nickname Ace, after the legendary Patrick ” Ace” Ntsoelengoe. He could run the game from midfield, difficult to mark. Former Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana Bafana coach Stan “Screamer” Tshabalala who coached Khuse at both club and international level argues that he was better than former Barcelona star Xavi. A wonderfully gifted midfield maestro also played in Turkey for Gençlerbirliği and Antalyaspor. Was the mainstay of Bafana Bafana upon return of international wilderness in 1992.
15: Marks ” Go Man Go” Maponyane, was one of the greatest goal poachers and poster boy of his generation. Strong, clever, street wise and deadly finisher. He could rough up defenders, but a gentleman off the field. He is still the all-time leading scorer of the club, with over 100 goals for the club. Won the 1994 League title with Orlando Pirates and the 1995 Champions Cup although he was injured during the last leg of the campaign. He also represented and scored goals for Bafana Bafana before retiring with Bidvest Wits his last destination on his illustrious career. A true South African football legend.
14: Arie ” Pro” Khongoane, one of the best midfielders the club has ever had. First played as an attacking midfielder, later moved to central midfield . What a brilliant footballer. A very vocal leader and one of the longest serving captains at the club. He earned the nickname ” Mandela ” because he was talkative and outspoken. He was sadly killed during the 1976 Soweto uprisings where he was teacher.
13: Edson “Sugar” Mguyo, a prolific goalscorer who put fear in the opposition defenders and was relentless in pursuit of the ball. A true finisher whose goals for Chiefs were as sweet as “Sugar”. A man of many traits who never missed an opportunity to delight the supporters. The Zimbabwean striker was the first Amakhosi player to score a hat-trick in an official Soweto Derby. In total, he scored nine Derby goals for the Phefeni Glomour boys.
12: Leonard “Wagga Wagga” Likoebe, quick striker who scored lots of goals because of his blistering speed. A true goal poacher. Diminutive in stature but strong as an ox. Born in Ladybrand Maseru, he played for Maseru United and later moved to Durban to play for Zulu Royals. Wagga was fearless on the field of play and could not be pushed around and was not afraid to put his leg in the mix of bone crunching tackles by defenders. Yet he played with a smile on his face every time on the pitch that reflected his grace. A goal-scoring machine and legend who ended his career at Wits University.
11: Jan ” Malombo” Lichaba, a midfielder powerhouse with. Great engine. He could run all day. He was dependable. A true midfield general who was physically imposing. He was the enforcer and made sure the opposition did not run amok against Chiefs by breaking move and starting plenty of counterattacking options. A good header of the ball and someone who was not afraid to tackle, take personal strain for the club whilst playing with a lot of belief in the middle of the park. A Springbok player of his era who represented the South African Black IX.
10: Lucas Radebe is one of the greatest defenders of his era. Strong in the tackle, good in the air, and a great leader; every team he played for he was a captain, including the national team. “Rhoo” moved to Leeds United for a transfer fee of £250,000, where he played 200 matches for the Yorkshire side.
He was nicknamed “The Chief” at Elland Road where he became captain and also skipper of the South African national team, most notably at World Cup in 2002. He joined the ICL Birds in the now-defunct Bophuthatswana Soccer League before signing for Kaizer Chiefs, in 1989. Radebe originally started his career with Chiefs as a goalkeeper, and then switched positions to central defence. During the 1999–2000 season whilst at Leeds, he finished third in the English Premier League and qualified for the following season’s Champions League, where they eventually reached the semi-finals. In 2000, he was awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award. He earned 70 caps for South Africa and scored two goals during his international career, with his last match being against England on 22 May 2003.
9: Silvester ” City” Kole, was an intelligent player and a good reader of the game. He mentored players, like of Manyathi and Jingles Perreira . At the 2014 Kaizer Chiefs awards, City received the Chairman’s Special Award for his sterling contribution to the club. He was not much of a ball player, but he knew how to bottle opposition players and make their contribution less effective. From a superb midfielder he turned out to be a magnificent central defender after relinquishing his midfield role to Manyathi. A lion with a big heart, City knew his strength and used it to dominate in all aspects of the game.
8: Simon “Bull” Lehoko played for both Vaal Professional and Kaizer Chiefs before he retired and joined Vaal Pro’s as coach. He won the 1994 Bob Save Super Bowl with the now defunct Sedibeng district based club. But the man nicknamed “The Bull” is better known for his towering defending performances for Amakhosi where he marshaled their back-four like a raging bull. Not too many strikers can claim to have outmaneuvered this exceptionally talented player whose brilliant reading of the game saw him always a step ahead of everyone. He was very strong in the air and would out-jump taller players. He was strong in the tackle as well.
7: Gerald “Mgababa” Dlamini was undoubtedly in a different class. The best number 3, left back Kaizer Chiefs ever had. Mgababa had no front teeth, just a big gap that made him easily distinguishable. Amakhosi manager, Ewert Nene, used to say that he lost his front teeth in Umgababa in a fight but the fans believed his defending style was so cool and relaxed like being on Umgababa beach on Durban’s north coast. Despite the lack of speed, Umgababa liked to attack the opposition. He was also a good crosser of the ball. An introvert off the field but a warrior when faced with opponents, Dlamini could easily play in the modern game.
6: Vusi Zachariah “Computer” Lamola better known as Maria-Maria to his legion of supporters. But most supporters preferred the nicknamed “Computer” to describe his magnificent footballing brain. The history of Kaizer Chiefs would be incomplete without mentioning the little dynamo that ran their engine room and helped establish a football empire of almost unequalled magnitude on the sub-continent. He started his football career at about 10 years old with George Goch Spades, in the old Johannesburg South Township. At Orlando he joined a team called Preston Brothers where he played alongside Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba, before Ewert “The Lip” Nene came knocking and he found his way to Chiefs. The wizard Lamola, was always a nightmare to contain. He was so skillful that some opponents ended up watching his trickery on the ball to a point of almost applauding him. He scored plenty of goals including a costly own goal in the Soweto derby that made him to be hounded by the supporters.
5: Theophilus Doctorson Doctor “16V” Khumalo was an immensely talented attacking midfielder who was the blue-eyed boy of South African football. He wore the famous number 15 jersey for Chiefs that he inherited from Springbok stalwart, Jan ‘Malombo’ Lechaba. In mid-1990s Doctor Khumalo left his beloved Amakhosi for Argentinian outfit Ferro Carril Oeste, before joining USA-based Columbus Crew where he netted six goals in 32 outings. “Doctor”was better known as “16 valve” and played in a total of 397 league and cup games, scoring 75 goals as part of the 1990s Chiefs teams that won three South African league championship titles, five knockout trophies and he was also voted South African Footballer of the Year in 1992.
After the re-admission of South Africa to FIFA in 1992, Khumalo was selected to be a member of the South African squad for its first official international match in July of the same year, against Cameroon. South Africa won the match 1–0, due to a penalty scored by Khumalo. He was also a leading member of the winning South African national team at the 1996 African Nations Cup. He also represented South Africa in the 1998 Football World Cup. Throughout his whole international career, he played for South Africa 50 times (twice as captain), scoring nine goals. Khumalo was voted 62nd in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004 and it is envisaged that his son Diego will follow in his illustrious footsteps.
4: Abednigo Valdez “Shaka” Ngcobo is a Kaizer Chiefs legend who was born on the 10th May 1950 and also went overseas to play for Uruguayan sides Penarol, Minnesota Kicks and Denver Dynamos. Born in Cato Manor near Durban, he started playing amateur soccer at a young age for African Bush Rangers, Rand Koreans, Union Jacks and later joined Zulu Royals and African Wanderers in the NPSL in 1971. In 1972, Ngcobo was recruited by Kaizer Chiefs’ Ewert Nene and led them to their first ever league title in 1974. In 1976 he won the Benson and Hedges Trophy, Sales House Cup and the BP Top 8 and set a then new record of the fastest goal scored in 10 seconds in a 3–1 win over Moroka Swallows on 11 October 1976 in Vosloorus. He was named the 1979 Footballer of Year, and also scored against Highlands Park in that famous Mainstay Cup Final replay and registered a 13-minute hat-trick against Moroka Swallows. Shaka’ had great speed and he was unbelievably strong. He could play both as a striker and as a winger. He had an educated left-foot and could score with both feet. He was one of the best all-round strikers South Africa has ever witnessed.
3: Petros “Ten Ten” Nzimande was one of the original players of Kaizer XI in 1969. A defensive-midfielder‚ who could also play as a centre-back‚ participated in Kaizer Chiefs’ first Soweto Derby on 24 January 1970. He was not a big talker on the field but he led with his actions and also scored precious goals. Was also nicknamed ‘Gentle Giant’ and was part of the Chiefs side that won their first ever league title in 1974‚ scoring two goals.
2: Nelson Teenage Dladla emerged from the small town of Springs and played for Pilkington Young Brothers and most notably Kaizer Chiefs. During his spell at Amakhosi he wore the legendary number 11 jersey. He is infamously known as the boy wonder that Ewert Nene went to Kwa-Thema to recruit and was subsequently stabbed to death while negotiating his transfer. He could glide pass opponents better than Lionel Messi and Zidane combined. He mesmerize the opposition as if it was the last game. He and Shaka Ngcobo would change wings during the course of the game to confuse opponents. Lekawana contributed to most of Chiefs trophies of the late 1970s and early 80s. A true football genius who was a menace to defenders, that resorted to foul play to keep him under control.
A magician on the ball he is regarded as one of the finest Kaizer Chiefs players to ever paly his trade at Naturena given his immense skill and pace down the left flank. His hat-trick against Durban City in 1979 secured Chiefs third League title – one of his defining moments as a footballer. Dladla was never able to show his skills on the international stage due to the sporting ban inflicted upon South Africa during Apartheid.
1: Patrick “Ace” Ntsoelengo is widely considered as one of the greatest the country has ever produced and has been inducted in the American hall of fame for his exploits in that country. He started his football career at amateur side, Powerlines and later moved to Mohlakeng in Randfontein where he joined Mohlakeng Home Stars where he started to gain popularity. In 1969, when Kaizer XI played Randfontein XI he impressed Amakhosi and joined them as the tender age of 17. Ntsoelengoe spent almost his entire career with Chiefs even when he had moved overseas where he played in the United States and Canada he would still represent Chiefs during the off-season.
In total he played 11 seasons in the North American Soccer League, beginning in 1973 with the Miami Toros however he later joined, Minnesota Kicks but enhanced his reputation with Toronto Blizzard. A quiet man with incredible skills, he played for Minnesota in Soccer Bowl 76 and for Toronto in Soccer Bowl 83 and the Soccer Bowl Series of 1984. Nominally a midfielder, he constantly pushed forward into attacking positions and often scored more goals than strikers. Ntsoelengoe represented South Africa in 1977 versus Rhodesia and was instrument when the then Springboks, the South African Invitational XI hammered an Argentina XI 5-1. In 2008 he was posthumously awarded the Order of Ikhamanga.