SAVAGES CELEBRATE IN STYLE
South Africa’s oldest football club announce lofty development goals at 135year anniversary
“What Savages are doing here, working on the grassroots level and introducing young kids to football, is a right thing to do, and it’s amazing. What Savages need ... is more support from local people, government, and local businesses. There is a need to celebrate what they are.”
ON their big day of commemorating a 135year anniversary, Savages Football Club had a celebration that was fit for South Africa’s oldest club.
The local club celebrated in style as they were inducted into the globallyrecognised Club of Pioneers at Collegians Hall in town on Saturday.
Despite the main guest speaker Jomo Sono not making it to the event, the celebrations went on until the early hours of yesterday.
Other than Savages’ old boys who who spent time having fun and reminiscing about the good old days, also in attendance was the chairman of the world’s first football club, Sheffield FC Richards Tims.
Tims, accompanied by his wife Jenny and son Freddie, described being joined by Savages in the pioneers’ fold as an honour.
“They are not just a pioneer for South Africa, but for the whole of Africa. It is an honour for both Savages and Sheffield,” Tims said.
“What Savages are doing here, work ing on the grassroots level and introducing young kids to football, is a right thing to do, and it is amazing.
“What Savages need, in my mind, is more support from local people, government, and local businesses. There is a need to celebrate what they are.”
Savages’ chairman Gavin Manickum said they were overwhelmed to be joining Sheffield and 14 other sides at the old boys’ table.
He said the 135 years of existence was a milestone for them and a call for them to work harder in taking the beautiful game forward.
“It’s an absolutely great feeling for a club here in Pietermaritzburg to be acknowledged by the number one football club in the world, it just enormous and we are very proud,” said Manickum.
“Our core values here are junior football, helping children from the age of five all the way to senior football.”
He said their next big aim was also to introduce a programme for young girls to also play at grassroots level.
“Football is just not for boys. We need to open it up to both genders and start it at grassroots level,” he said.
“That is our goal for 2018, to start getting young girls into football from the age of five and maybe after some time, they will play for South Africa.”
The milestone did not only see the country’s oldest club from Pietermaritzbhurg being welcomed into the Club of Pioneers, but also being recognised by the South African Football Association.
“We are looking for a positive joint venture with Safa of developing children and get them off the street. Get them to focus on something,” said Manickum.
“We are hoping that Safa is going set up to alternative venues where children can play, improve the facilities within Pietermaritzburg and the surrounding areas.”
Other dignitaries who graced the celebration with their presence included Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo and KZN Department of Sport and Recreation manager Jay Mannikam.
Both Njilo and Mannikam promised to help Savages continue promoting the sport in the local community.
In good spirits at Saturday’s anniversary function are (from left) Savages FC chairperson Gavin Manickum, board member Benjamin ‘Ben’ Hartshorne, Sheffield FC’s Richard Tims and old boy Brian McBey. Tims, from the world’s oldest football club, received...
Savages board member Benjamin ‘Ben’ Hartshorne (centre) with family and friends.
A group of happy guests.
A Savages FC old boys team in red posing for a picture before their match on Saturday.
A Savages FC old boys team in blue posing for a picture before their match on Saturday.
Savages old boys celebrate a moment together in the club house after playing a match before Saturday night’s function.
Savages board member Benjamin ‘Ben’ Hartshorne (right) presents a service award to Brian and Flick Edwards.
The Witness acting editor Kuben Chetty (centre) and his wife Keshni were among the invited guests.
A gala vibe at the Savages anniversary celebration.
Savages FC chairperson Gavin Manickum delivers his speech during Saturday’s anniversary function at Collegians Hall.
Jay Mannikam, manager at KZN Department of Sport and Recreation, delivers a speech praising Savages FC’s role in the community.
Special guest Richards Tims from Sheffield FC in England.
Brian McBey talks about the good old days of Savages.