Throwback Thursday: Simon Makhubela

Posted: 30 August 2018 Time: 15:00

Simon 'Harare' Makhubela says in 2006 he retired from playing football because the game was no longer working for him.

Once a feared striker in his heyday Makhubela finished his career at Wits University FC after having played for respected Premier Soccer League teams like Kaizer Chiefs, Manning Rangers and Orlando Pirates.

"This football thing was no longer working for me," he says.

"You see once you get over 30 here at home they want nothing to do with you. Wits was the last team I played for, I don't remember how old I was but I had gone past 30 ja. I started my football at Kaizer [Chiefs], I started in their first team. I moved to Rangers on a loan, then it ended up being a permanent move. Chiefs wanted me back but didn't put a deal down, they were only saying 'No you must come back'. The reason I left Chiefs was because I got injured, I fractured my hand. So by the time I recovered the club was playing well. So I had an agreement with Kaizer [Motaung] to go on loan for a couple of months. There was an agreement between the two clubs that if they want me they will have to buy me back."

Makhubela says he enjoyed playing his football at Manning Rangers. He won the 1996 Golden Boot award by scoring 12 goals in a season that was reduced to 17 matches to accommodate the calendar switch from August to May, and helped the Mighty Maulers claim the inaugural PSL title.

"It was at Rangers. The spirit, the togetherness, we all had one mind. The most I earned was R12 000 per month, at Wits. Of course I would have loved to play now because if you look, even the football they are playing these days alikho but money is too much. Obviously nobody who played in our days can tell me he doesn't wish he was playing at the moment. I would be worth a million a month if I was still playing today obviously, maybe somewhere from R800 000 to R1 million per month."

The former goalpoacher says it was very difficult to save money during his playing days.

"You wouldn't save money that wasn't there my brother. Money wasn't there. You had parents to look after ... you couldn't save."

These days Makhubela works at a car dealership to put food on the table.

"At the moment I work at a car dealer ship your see, just to sustain my life. I'm not a salesman as such, I do just a dirty job here at work which I can't tell you about. At the moment things are not going well, but there are months where things go well, where cars are bought. There's a huge difference in my life these days because I live a normal life, a right life that is normal. In all I got six kids, three boys, three girls and I'm based here in Durban."

A deadly finisher in his prime, Makhubela feels the standard of football in the PSL has dropped, especially when it comes to scoring goals.

"It has dropped, if you just look at the goals that are being scored at the moment, imagine someone becoming a top goalscorer with only 11 goals? Less than 15 goals ? We've got joint-top goalscorers ... you see there is something wrong here. In our time if you scored 18 goals you knew you still had a problem, others are still gonna catch you. These days we don't have finishers, and this thing is not affecting only one team, all the teams have the same problem.

"Strikers are born, you can't make a striker. We got lots of midfielders ... I'm not impressed. The highest I scored in my career was 22, I won the Golden Boot but ku Coca Cola Challenge." 

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Article by: Sipho Mlotha

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