A new Gary Player in town

 

A new Gary Player has been born in the name of former sensational soccer striker-turned avid golfer, Mark Williams of the Bafana Class of 96.

The Caxton Joburg North team caught up with Williams and his former colleagues playing a round of golf at Sun City ahead of their induction into the Sun International Hall of Fame on 20 August.

Mark Williams, a member of the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winning Bafana Bafana squad, plays golf at Sun City ahead of their induction into the Sun International Hall of Fame. Photo: Nicholas Zaal

“I have fallen in love with golf, in fact, I have fallen head over heels like a little teenager, with this game of the rich,” said Williams.

“Maybe, if this sport was open to us [blacks] then, I would not have been seen anywhere near a soccer ball at all. That’s how I have fallen for it,” added the former top marksmen who scored both goals against Tunisia that saw Bafana Bafana crowned champions of Africa.

The final was played at the FNB Stadium on 3 February 1996 and Williams, coming on as a substitute, stunned the Tunisian team in the 72nd and 74th minutes for the 2–0 win.

Mark Williams, a member of the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winning Bafana Bafana squad, plays golf at Sun City ahead of their induction into the Sun International Hall of Fame. Photo: Nicholas Zaal

“You know golf then was a white man’s sport and most of us [blacks] could only play soccer and nothing else,” said Williams who works as a football analyst for SuperSport.

When he’s not inside the SuperSport studios, Williams can be found teeing it up somewhere. “I now spend a lot of time

playing golf, as a catch up to what I lost in those dark years of our history.

“I am glad that we’re finally being inducted into the Sun International Hall of Fame. Somebody somewhere has finally seen that our achievement of 96 was a momentous feat, which so far has not been repeated.”

 

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  AUTHOR
Sipho Siso

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