Going down memory lane with Kevin Mudie
By Andile Dladla & Mandla Dladla
Few people might be aware of even know a man named Kevin Mudie who struggled for almost three months to break into the all-conquering Durban City side but when he eventually did, never looked back.
He received his big break in a crucial match against then star-studded Moroka Swallows who boasted outstanding players like Joel “Ace” Mnini, Andries “Panyaza” Maseko, Daniel “Vader” Mophosho and Aubrey “The Great” Makgopela in an away match and it became a life changer.
“I played with some of the most fantastically gifted players of that era while I was at Durban City and here one can easily mention the likes of Neil Tovey, his elder brother Mark Tovey and Moffat Zuma who joined us from Amazulu,” recalls Mudie.
“That was a quality team and was balanced in every department and we had an astute coach in wily old Clive Barker. We won the league championship back-to-back in 1982 & 83 and aimed for a hat-trick in 1984 but were dethroned by Kaizer Chiefs on goal difference while Swallows were second and we finished third.”
Mudie was a useful winger that could be deployed on either the left or the right and scored plenty of spectacular goals and feared by opposition defenders largely due to his ability to use his strength like a battering ram when fighting for the ball with defenders.
He took time off his busy schedule this week to wish the British Lions and the Springboks a safe and Covid free test series in their tour of the country.
“Secondly we are aware that COVID will probably have an impact on the performance levels as it has been a difficult period trying to get things back to normal in terms of preparation.
“We welcome back the Lions who are a magnificent team from four different countries with a very proud record and tradition that pushes them to give nothing but 100% of themselves wherever they play.
“Then you have the Boks who are a proud lot and current world champions with immense physical strength and power. This is going to be a very gruelling and tough test series for both teams. I also wish the Boks everything of the best and hope we can pull this one off and win the series. Go Bokke”.
In 1981 Mudie joined Durban City as a strapping young and ambitious lad 19 year old determined to make it big in local but as fate would have it, could not quite crack it into the City first team.
However after two successful seasons, Mudie made his intentions of leaving Durban City very clear but was instead sent out on loan to cross-town rivals Amazulu FC who were also a powerful outfit at the time with the likes of Moffat Zuma, Amos Shamaze, Nduna Ngidi and Frederick Mfeka among others.
“It was another outstanding and phenomenal season for me as I was exposed to a different culture and experienced the joy and beauty of playing in the various townships where the passion was simply incredible.
“The great Clive Barker who had been my coach at Durban City, left to join AmaZulu and played an influential role in persuading me to sign for them on a season loan, after which I relocated to Johannesburg where I was purchased by PG Rangers.”
At Rangers Mudie joined equally gifted players like Shane McGregor, Gary Matthews, Peter Budde and stayed there for six months where they were known as a very awkward yet free-scoring team that gave nothing away and played it pretty tight at the back.
However, after six months he became unhappy due to lack of playing time and requested the team to put him on transfer. Wits University, then coached by Terry Paine came calling and he jumped at the opportunity where he stayed until the end of the 1992 season when he hung up his boots to concentrate on youth coaching.
“I consider myself very fortunate. I mean, playing against players of the calibre of Pule “Ace” Ntsoelengoe, Jomo Sono, Lawrence Chelin, Rodney Bush, Teenage Dladla to mention just a few, players I consider some of the greatest this country has ever produced, has been a privilege for me.”
These days Mudie oversees the day to day football operations at Randburg Football Club where they have teams ranging from the U-6 right up to U-17’s with a ladies team and senior teams.
“We have over 500 kids competing in different leagues like the Soweto Academy League, Gauteng Development League because we are a feeder club to Orlando Pirates FC. Our ladies are a feeder club to Janine van Wyk FC”.