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All Whites

Nikki Rixon/Twenty Ten

Associated features on soccer legends: The Legends, Ghana (Photo feature), Le Bombardier (Photo feature), What have they become? (Photo feature), Qui sont-ils devenus?Congo (Audio feature), Que sont-ils devenus? Cameroon (Audio feature), Death of a Legend (Photo feature)

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

The history of football in South Africa dates back to the late 19th century. When the government implemented its apartheid policies in 1948, South Africa was ostracised by the world. In football, only white people were allowed to join teams which resulted in their suspension from FIFA in 1963.

George Martin, Albert Uytenbogaardt and Eric Logan are among the last of the original players of The Springbok soccer team which was disbanded in 1962 and replaced by the National Football League.
Albert Uytenbogaardt was a Springbok goal keeper from 1955 to 1957. The team toured Australia undefeated, winning all five tests. Albert played in 13 of their 15 matches.

George Martin was a Springbok left full back during the 1950's. He was a member of the last soccer team to tour overseas before South Africa was suspended from FIFA. The Springbok team travelled to England on a mammoth two week boat trip. During the sailing they practiced on the deck.

Eric Logan was a Springbok half back from 1956 to 1959. During the 50’s he was captain of the Camps Bay club in Cape Town.

All three players speak about a shared love of the game. They were required to hold down day jobs while pursuing football on the side because their earnings as soccer players were pitiful. Winning a match would result in payment of only R5.

The lack of earnings didn’t deter them, however, and they trained hard every day, purely because they enjoyed the sport. This simple love of the game seems to be overshadowed in today’s football circles where money plays such a crucial role.

With the World Cup soccer showcase having been hosted for the first time on African soil, it is inspiring to see the passion for football that such veterans of the sport still have.

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