Throwback Thursday: Bruce Ramokgadi
Posted: 7 June 2018 Time: 15:00
Former Orlando Pirates striker Bruce Ramokgadi says he retired early in 2001 because of a knee injury and football politics while on the books of Bucs.
Ramokgadi, who won the CAF Champions League in 1995 with Pirates, also played for Cape Town Spurs and Manning Rangers.
He now works as a sports promotion officer for the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.
"I think I was 24 or 25 years old when I retired," Ramokgadi tells KickOff.com.
"It was 2001, ja bengisese yintwana [I was still a young boy]. Pirates promoted me from their Colts youth team. I also went to Cape Town Spurs before it became Ajax Cape Town. I played regularly there so I enjoyed myself there. From there I went to Manning Rangers. I don't wanna lie to you, I also played regularly there. That's where I actually enjoyed my football mostly because week in, week out I was playing.
"At Pirates sometimes I would start on the bench you see. Even though I won cups at Pirates but at Rangers it's where I enjoyed my football the most. But before they loaned me at Pirates in 1998 I did enjoy my football under coach [Viktor] Bondarenko. That's where I earned the most during my football career, R15 000 ... I retired earning R15 000.
"It was difficult to save money because we lived from hand to mouth, but the signing-on fee was right though. But unfortunately I didn't receive all my money. I signed for three years at Pirates but terminated the contract after the first year. They gave me R300 000 for three years. So every year I was getting R100 000 you see. I got it the first year, then the following year that's when we terminated the contract."
Ramokgadi says he enjoys his current vocation.
"I work in the Gauteng Sports and Recreation. I do sports in general, there is no specific sport that I do. I do everything from aerobics to marathons. I'm a sports promotion officer. I enjoy my work because I'm working with sport which is something that I understand.
"For me, life after football I can say it's normal. I was once married but got divorced. You know after football women run away if there's no money coming in. Women only loves you when there's money coming in, and then ne fame ayisekho leso sikhathi. I'm from Orlando West but now I live in Protea in Soweto. I work in Randfontein.
"I don't have any regret in my football career even though I didn't reach my full potential. These days we only watch football because we love it, we don't have a choice. But entertainment-wise we are complaining as football fans because these days everyone plays not to lose because of the huge monies that is in the game these days."
Ramokgadi says he will always have special memories as a footballer, especially winning the CAF Champions Cup [now Champions League) 13 years ago.
"Obviously winning the Champions League when people knew nothing about it, then it rubbed off to the 1996 AFCON. And also scoring a goal in the Super Cup."