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Condolences pour in for ‘Spider’

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Macala was among the first local football players to be recruited to the ranks of professional football

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Condolences poured in yesterday for the late Dalton Brothers FC goalkeeper Mikhaya “Spider” Macala (69) who passed away in a hospital in Rustenburg on Saturday, according to a report by his friend, former teammate and past club secretary Peter “Squash” Dithebe.

Dithebe told the DFA that Macala was living in Rustenburg after his retirement from working on the platinum mines. He apparently had lingering health problems relating to his kidneys and finally succumbed to this ailment on Saturday.

Macala was the goalkeeper at Dalton Brothers Football Club when the team played in the now defunct National Professional Soccer League which preceded the National Soccer League.

Yesterday fellow Galeshewe based footballer and one time teammate at Macala’s first club, Rhodesian Sweepers, Frances Carter London, said Macala was among the first local football players to be recruited to the ranks of professional football.

London said scouts for Kaizer XI which was then only a couple of months old, had recruited Macala along with former Dalton Brothers and later Leeds United star player Andrew “Wire” Bosman sometime in 1969.

According to London the pair of Macala and Bosman left to play for the newly-formed Kaizer XI in an exhibition game in KwaMashu sometime in 1970 in Durban against a local side.

London said that in that match the Kaizer XI lost 11-1 to the Durban outfit. London told the DFA that he is not certain whether Macala and Bosman’s return to Kimberley was connected to that huge loss the week before, but he said that he is certain they were never considered again in that year.

Macala continued to turn out between the sticks for Dalton Brothers and was in the team that later played their last league game against Kaizer Chiefs at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. The result of that game was keenly awaited by Kaizer Chiefs’ arch rivals Orlando Pirates, as the Buccaneers needed a point to pip Chiefs to that year’s league title.

As it turned out Dalton Brothers did enough on the field to win 2-1 against Chiefs, a result that was warmly welcomed by Pirates who were crowned league champions for 1973.

On that day, among the other star players in the Dalton Brothers team, were the late Makhontsho Douglas “Chippa” Damane (1949-1980) who used to be the midfield and strike marshall for the side.

On the right wing was another talented and trusted player Lesley “Teazer-Ma-Less” Leshoro. At the back, playing just in front of Macala as a central defence sweeper was the hard as nuts Wilfred Scara Cinga.

The latter (Cinga) along with Damane were luckier in their professional football tryouts. They secured contracts with then National Professional Soccer League side Zulu Royals (aka AmaZulu FC which plays in the current Premier Soccer League) after Dalton exited from the league in 1973.

Yesterday Damane’s nephew, Douglas Mthukwane, was among Kimberlites who mourned the passing of Macala. In his Facebook post Mthukwane and his mother, former Sol Plaatje councillor Keitumetse Mthukwane, paid homage to Macala and Damane.

Mary Wolf (nee Coangae) said in her post: “My father Pule ‘Al Die Hoekies’ Coangae and late uncle David Dicky ‘Ghost’ Coangae also played for Dalton Brothers. These brothers were legends.”

Local historian and author Sephai Mngqolo posted this simple message: “Sad news. RIP ‘Spider’.”

Jomo Bonokwane the current Dalton Brothers club owner was another who shared his condolences on the social network.

Former Dalton Brothers owner Daniel Schoolboy Sekgoro said: “My heartfelt condolences to the family and his friends. We will remember him (Macala) as a very nice guy. He was also very moody. I recall too that when we used to travel to games and he got hungry there would be big trouble in the transport vehicle. He was not a Kimberley guy. We imported him from Klerksdorp at the time because of his football skills. He later went on to make a name for himself at Zulu Royals and elsewhere.”

Macala is survived by Mongale and their only son.