By Kgomotso Mokoena
Retired former Bafana Bafana defender David “Going Up” Nyathi is ecstatic and says that the revival of historical Cape Town Spurs, his former club, will give the Mother City that much-needed mojo.
Ajax Cape Town recently cut ties with Ajax Amsterdam, after acquiring 51% of the shares and that resulted in club boss Ari Efstathiou taking full ownership of the GladAfrica Championship side.
They have since taken the route of reviving Spurs, a former darling of the Western Cape community. Spurs had merged with Seven Stars in 1999 to form Ajax Cape Town.
So, after a 21-year hiatus, the historic Spurs are bouncing back with a bang. Many will remember Spurs for their star-studded side that won the league and cup double in 1995. They had players such as Nyathi, Francis Shonhayi, Shaun Bartlett, Edries Burton, Roger Lupiya and David Modise.
“It’s exciting times and the name Spurs brings back fond memories of an old era,” said Nyathi. “This comes with a huge responsibility because people in the Western Cape used to love that club with all their hearts. I am honoured to have been part of the team that dominated in 1995. We were like brothers and had a good mix of youth and veterans in the team, and that’s why we were unstoppable. We had good players and wonderful human beings. I hope the new Spurs will have that kind of camaraderie because they will go far.
“There was also the great Lupiya and the captain Shonhayi. The likes of Zane Alexander, Craig Rosslee, Mannie Rodriques, Bartlett, Andre Arendse and others also joined us to form a very formidable squad. I hope the new guys will also have that winning mentality.”
Nyathi joined Spurs after stints with Dangerous Darkies and Orlando Pirates. At Spurs, he powered his way into Bafana Bafana and was also part of the triumphant Class of 1996 that lifted the Africa Cup of Nations trophy on home soil. The Afcon victory opened doors and gave him a ticket overseas where he played for clubs such as FC St Gallen (Switzerland), Ankaragucu (Turkey) and Tenerife in Spain.
Nyathi is hoping that in the near future, Spurs will get promoted so that people in the Mother City can have the Cape derby between Spurs and Cape Town City in the PSL. “That’s what soccer should be all about, rivalry.”