KAIZER CHIEFS Football Club founder & owner Dr. Kaizer Motaung marked his 79th birthday last week.
And as if this milestone was not enough, then came the news of a special present, that the soccer icon will be inducted into the South African Hall of Fame on Thursday, 9 November.
“Dr. Kaizer Motaung, an iconic figure in South African sports history, has significantly shaped the landscape of football in the nation. As the visionary founder and Chairman of the renowned Kaizer Chiefs Football Club, his influence reaches far beyond the field. With this induction, his extraordinary contributions will be permanently enshrined in the annals of the South African Hall of Fame,” said Chairman of the South African Hall of Fame, Johnny Burger, when announcing the news of Dr. Motaung’s induction.
According to Kaizer Chiefs, in a special collaboration with hospitality and entertainment group Tsogo Sun, the Chairman’s induction ceremony will be held during a gala dinner at a venue befitting the stature of this monumental occasion.
Distinguished guests, including luminaries from the world of sport, entertainment, and government, will come together to pay tribute to Dr. Motaung’s unparalleled achievements.
The South African Hall of Fame said Dr. Motaung’s remarkable legacy would be honoured for his “unwavering dedication, profound impact and indelible mark on the sport” and for his major contribution as a world-class footballer, administrator and business leader.
“Your nomination for this prestigious award is a testament to your enduring commitment and your ability to effect positive change in the lives of countless individuals through your remarkable work,” added the South African Hall of Fame when making the announcement.
Previous inductees into the South African Hall of Fame include former President, Nelson Mandela, Gary Player, the 1995 and 2007 Springbok Rugby World Cup winning teams, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Bafana Bafana’s 1996 African Nations Cup winning team.
Organisers have attested that this gala event promises to be an unforgettable evening, honouring a man whose legacy has transcended sport and has become an integral part of the nation’s cultural fabric.
The Chairman’s induction into the South African Hall of Fame will also be celebrated at the Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on Saturday, 11 November 11, 2023, added the club.
Dr Motaung was last year conferred with an honorary doctorate of social science by the University of Cape Town for his contribution to South African football.
The Kaizer Chiefs Football Club was founded in Soweto, South West of Johannesburg, on the 7 January 1970 by Kaizer Motaung, who was 26 years of age at the time.
His club, Kaizer Chiefs is the largest and most successful Club in South Africa with a fan base of more than 20 million plus. It is also the most supported club in South Africa’s neighbouring countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and others.
Motaung’s entry into international soccer occurred in 1968.
This was when Atlanta Chiefs Founder and Owner, Dick Cecil, and former West Ham United player Phil Woosnam, who was manager of the Atlanta Chiefs franchise in the then-recently formed North American Soccer League(NASL) recruited Motaung after team trials in Zambia.
And despite Motaung struggling to come to terms with the weather and overcoming injury, he made his North American debut for the Atlanta Chiefs as a substitute in a friendly game against Manchester City.
He scored two goals in that match. The South African new star continued on a high note for the rest of the season, scoring 16 goals in fifteen matches.
This made him the top scorer in the league that season. As a result of this achievement, he was voted “Rookie of the Year” and gained a place on the NASL’s All Star Team. In 1975, he returned to the NASL to play two seasons with the Denver Dynamos.
On returning home in 1970, Motaung decided to start his own professional soccer team. He named his club “Kaizer Chiefs” after himself and his former NASL team.
Despite early setbacks and opposition, Motaung succeeded in assembling a good mix of veterans and talented rookies and the club soon became a force to be reckoned with. The Kaizer Chiefs soon had a large following.
Within a short time, the Kaizer Chiefs became the most successful team in South Africa, winning dozens of trophies and gaining an estimated 20 million supporters throughout the country.
One of Kaizer Chiefs’ biggest achievements was winning the African Cup Winners’ Cup in 2001.
Motaung has also been very active in South African soccer administration, having served on both the National Soccer League (NSL) and South African Football Association (SAFA) executives.
In addition, Motaung co-founded (with Orlando Pirates’ Irvin Khoza) the South African Premier League (PSL) in 1996, which helped bring more sponsors and money into South African professional soccer.
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