Skip to main content

SA diary

Posted on 28 July 2003  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

An amazing day as we travelled from Durban to Cape Town including a trip to the Langa township and meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

South African Diary: Day 4

An early start as we departed our hotel in Durban at 8am for an internal flight to Cape Town.

Any cobwebs from last night's game were soon blown away on our arrival though as chilly wind meant it finally felt like winter in South Africa. We'd had to convince ourselves in Durban as 25 degree heat and a beautiful sunrise greeted every morning - we'd take this winter any day!

It was straight off the plane and onto a bus for another special moment of this tour.

We were taken into the heart of the Langa township and the Langa Stadium, incredibly home of 80 teams, where the lads took part in coaching sessions with hundreds of local kids.

These were not like the 'street kids' of Durban, most of the youngsters had kit and many had boots, but, of course, this is a poverty-striken region - one of 16 townships in Cape Town.

Dwarfed by the magnificent splendour of Table Mountain, these kids swarmed all over the players as they wandered over to the playing area. A number came over and wanted to hold hands or cling onto the lads, who were not fazed by the situation at all.

It was quite a touching, emotional moment for everyone - just imagine Jamie Redknapp leaning over to talk to a couple of kids, no older then six or seven, as another grasped onto each hand. Multiply that by 25 players and more staff and you have the picture.

The lads split up and held mini-sessions all around the pitch. Glenn Hoddle took a group of five lads, throwing a ball and receiving it back perfectly on the volley while Simon Davies and Matthew Etherington took about 10 each, just showing them basic skills.

Lars Hirschfeld was brave enough to goal in goal as a queue of about 25 kids waited to take pot shots.

But the highlight for me was the sight of Robbie Keane showing a group of about 15 youngsters his array of skills, keep-ups, balancing the ball on his head and neck. The kids looked on amazed on before having a go themselves - Robbie loved every minute of it.

At the end of the session we handed our t-shirts, caps and other goodies before leaving a sea of waving hands for the hotel.

Time was short before another special reception at 6pm but there was enough for fitness coach Kunle Odetoyinbo to take the lads through a light stretching session for about 30 minutes.

We were soon om the coach again, this time heading for special date at the British High Commisioner Ann Grant's Residence here in Cape Town.

Having all been introduced to Mrs Grant you could feel a buzz through the room - Archbishop Desmond Tutu had arrived meet the squad.

Quite small in stature, Archbishop Tutu has a massive presence and was happy to accept many requests for photographs, quite a moment for everyone. He even had time to have a bit of banter with Anthony Gardner!

Following a big squad photograph, we were back at the hotel for 8pm and the management team started to turn their attentions to two training sessions on Monday.

From Paul Miles in South Africa