Itumeleng Khune opens up about his famous jersey number 32

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is not only known for his mesmerizing world-class ball distribution but also for his famous jersey number 32.

Khune, 36, is the longest-serving Chiefs player, having played for almost two decades in the black and gold colours.

Like a host of many other soccer stars in South Africa, Khune came from humble beginnings and worked his way up through dedication and hard work.

Mzansi’s number one, as he is affectionately known, shared a profound story on how he landed in Naturena and ended up wearing the now famous jersey number 32.

“I remember at the age of 12 years walking [about 6km] from the Johannesburg CDB to Helen Joseph Hospital in Auckland Park with my father holding my soccer boots and hoping that I do not disappoint [during the trials],” Khune said this week.

“Things [trials] went well for me, hence I am wearing this special jersey number 32.

“It’s not just a number, it has a special meaning to me. I was the 32nd player to be selected on the day of the trials.

“The coach at that time asked who my name was, and he had only selected 31 players. He then looked at me, wrote 32 and my name. That’s why this number will always have a special place in my heart.”

In partnership with Toyota, Amakhosi held a “heart on the sleeve” training clinic at the Kaizer Chiefs Village in Naturena, southern Johannesburg on Wednesday, where they hosted youngsters from Alex Royal Tigers.

As part of the training clinic inspiration talk, Khune urged youngsters, including those at Chiefs, to follow in his footsteps and build a legacy.

“I recently had a one-on-one conversation with chairman Kaizer Motaung about the record I set of becoming the only player with the most appearances at the club,” he said.

“So, I wish that all the young guys here can go all the way and break those boundaries, because anything is possible to leave a good legacy.”


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