Rest in peace Clive Barker
Rest in peace Clive Barker

Posted in News on Jun 14, 2023.

South Africa mourns the loss of one of her favourite sons with the news of the passing of Clive Barker at the age of 78. Clive’s name will forever ripple through the annals of South African football history because the role he played in the evolution and development of the game in this country can never be overstated.

A true South African and a true football man, the younger Barker defied the apartheid laws of the time and coached all people in all places without prejudice. Throughout his long life and career, from the amateur leagues of Durban to the pinnacle of the professional realms, he was the personification of a Man of the People and remained down to earth throughout the heady heights he scaled to become a genuine South African hero. 

Known as ‘The Dog”, chiefly as a pun on his surname, it could be said that he bore all the best attributes and characteristics of a terrier; tenacious, sharp-witted and fearless, with a dash of mischief, yet loyal, kind and caring, and he produced teams that reflected those qualities. He loved a laugh and a joke but he suffered no nonsense.

Although he never coached Kaizer Chiefs, our paths were intertwined over a four-decade period as they crossed on the field of play in some epic encounters between Amakhosi and teams coached by Clive. We never had easy games against his teams and he took typically impish pride in the few occasions he toppled us. Yet, he was well-respected and well-liked by generations of Amakhosi fans, who understood the calibre of man he was.

As South Africans, we shall always revere him for leading Bafana Bafana to unforgettable AFCON glory in 1996 and qualifying us for France ’98, our first World Cup. He was unfortunate not to take us there but his contribution to realising the dream of the nation will always be recognised as fundamental.

Clive Barker will be missed by South Africans of all walks of life, most particularly football fans. Kaizer Chiefs wish the bereaved family health and strength through this difficult period. On behalf of management, players and technical staff, and our supporters, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Rest in Peace, dear Clive.

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