My Ten: 10 things you didn’t know about Lucky Baloyi

  • Lucky grew up in Mokopane, a town in the rural area of Limpopo. After school, his father usually asked him to take the goats up the mountain. But he often forgot to bring them back down again, as he was always playing soccer in the streets and not watching the time until it was dark and too late to do so. It didn’t make his father very happy.

 

  • Lucky is totally absorbed by soccer and therefore doesn’t really watch other sports. He did, however, play some cricket at primary school. “We were forced to do another sporting code,” Baloyi remembers, before adding with a smile, “I was usually the guy standing on the boundary.”

 

  • He came on trial at Kaizer Chiefs’ youth development in 2005 together with two other players from Limpopo. His coach had told Amakhosi that there was one defender, one midfielder and one striker in the group. “I am a midfielder,” Lucky told the Chiefs coaches. The youngsters didn’t know how they were recommended, so when the other player also said that he was a midfielder Baloyi immediately corrected himself, “I am a defender.” Lucky did so well in defence that one of the coaches, who had forgotten Baloyi’s name, said: “Hé Sheriff!” As Lucky was in charge of the defence, it stuck and ‘Sheriff’ became his nickname.

 

  • One of Baloyi’s favourite mentors at Chiefs’ youth development was Lucky Stylianou, who played for Amakhosi in the late seventies, early eighties. Having the same first name was a coincidence, but the two bonded well. “Stylianou taught me how to drive the ball over a long distance with good technique,” Baloyi reflects. “He also came on Sundays to give us extra training if we didn’t have a game. The team that won the match at the end of the session got some sweets or even a little cash. He really went the extra mile to help us succeed.”

 

  • A big hobby of Lucky is bowling. He often goes to the bowling centre at the Northcliff Shopping Centre in Cresta. “I haven’t faced anybody as yet who is able to give me a tough time with bowling,” he comments.

 

  • Lucky loves watching movies, mostly TV series and romantic movies. He doesn’t like action movies, as “I get too emotional when people are killed.”

 

  • He loves listening to hip-hop whether at his house, in his car travelling to a game or in the dressing room. He loves both South African and American hip-hop. His favourite is the American rapper Young Thug.

 

  • Baloyi spends time at home, back in Mokopane, whenever the opportunity arises. He has four brothers and three sisters. He built a house for his family with 14 rooms, including six bedrooms. “I did so to demonstrate how much I appreciate their support over the years,” Lucky explains.

 

  • He will usually be seen wearing long sleeves whenever playing, even if it’s scorching hot. In the past, Lucky would be seen in short sleeves as well. But that changed when he once heard Mathoho’s brother Samuel telling a friend, while pointing at Baloyi: “This boy is a fantastic player. He’s the one with the long sleeves.” It stuck with him, commenting: “That way people recognize me easier in the field.”

 

  • As he achieved his dream by playing professional soccer, Lucky wants to help people achieve their dreams. It wasn’t easy to make it in professional soccer, coming from a small town in Limpopo. When people ask him about it, he answers: “I was lucky.” He wants to help other people to become ‘lucky’ by giving advice and pointing them in the right direction to succeed.