Former Warriors goalkeeper and coach Bruce Grobbelaar has revealed he is eyeing a role in Zimbabwe’s sports industry ahead of his trip to the country next month where he expects to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
BY Sports Reporter
The ex-Liverpool goalkeeper told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that he had received a call from Mnangagwa where he revealed plans of his November visit to Zimbabwe.
“He said: ‘Hello, Jungleman, how are you?’ I’m going back in November. As I told him, I would love to be the ambassador to sport, recreation and reconciliation. I still have a lot of hope for Zimbabwe and I would like to make a difference,” Grobbelaar said of his tele-conversation with Mnangagwa, who recently appointed swimming icon Kirsty Coventry as Sports minister.
Following former President Robert Mugabe’s fall, Grobbelaar visited Zimbabwe and held meetings with top government officials.
Grobbelaar had a short spell as Warriors coach and never got to live the dream of presiding over the team on a long term basis.
He had an interview with the Guardian where he talked about his experience in the liberation struggle in the then Rhodesia as well as match fixing, his time at Liverpool and how football “saved” him from the horrors of war.
He said: “It kept me away from the dark thoughts of war.”
He also opened up about his relationship with the Warriors fans who called him the Jungleman.
“The fans called me Jungleman. They said this young guy’s not white. He’s black in a white man’s skin.”
About the war, Grobbelaar also described how he killed his first victim.
“My first time was at dusk. As the sun sinks, you’re seeing shadows in the bush. You cannot recognise much until you see the whites of their eyes. It’s you or them. You shoot, you drop and there’s overwhelming gunfire. You hear voices on your side: ‘Hey, corporal, I’m hit’. You whistle to shut them up otherwise we’re all getting killed. When the firefight is finished, you see bodies everywhere. The first time everything in your stomach comes up through your mouth.”
He also revealed how two of his colleagues in the Rhodesian army killed themselves after they had been told they were to continue despite completing their conscription.