He’s been there for every moment of Kaizer Chiefs’ 52 years and as the Club celebrates its birthday today Joseph ‘Banks’ Setlhodi will buy himself a bottle of champagne and celebrate in the company of his great grandchildren.
The iconic Amakhosi keeper is one of just of a handful of “founding fathers” who were members of the team on the day the Club was founded on 7 January 1970.
“The founding fathers always want to wish the team well on its birthday and want to uphold the name of the Club for generations to come. I want to wish Kaizer Chiefs a very happy birthday and wish it many, many more years to come. In England, they still talk about a Club’s history dating back to 1918 and we want to reach that stage where the Club’s achievements over the years continue to be revered and celebrated,” Setlhodi told www.kaizerchiefs.com on the eve of the Club’s birthday.
He said the Club’s founders know just how far the Club has come and the struggles, trials and tribulations it endured to build it into the institution it has today become.
“Fortunately, Kaizer Chiefs was built on the best of the best and most unique foundation and it will survive for many years to come because of that foundation. For me, I have never met anyone who had a greater love for the game than Kaizer Motaung. I shared a bed with Kaizer and the only thing we ever spoke about was football and about how far we wanted to take this Club. And for the first 52 years, I can say he has made it. It is hard to find a man with such passion for the game and for the team,” says Setlhodi.
Since the Club’s inception, he said it had a winning culture and hated being on the losing side, and as the Club celebrates its 52nd year his wish is for Amakhosi to return to that winning culture.
Another legendary Amakhosi player from the 1990s era, Fani Madida, also shared warm birthday wishes with the Club.
“We wish the Club all the best in the future. It was fantastic to see the Club reach the CAF Champions League final last season, more so in that it was guided there by a Chiefs legend in Arthur Zwane. It was a phenomenal achievement for the team’s legacy and reputation and augurs well for its birthday year. South African football needs a strong Kaizer Chiefs and may they grow even more than where they are now,” Madida told www.kaizerchiefs.com.
And Derrick Spencer, who enjoyed great success with the Club during a trophy-laden spell in the 2000s, also added his birthday wishes.
“Happy birthday to Kaizer Chiefs. I spent one of the best years of my career playing for Chiefs and it was a dream come true playing for the Club. My family was very happy that I represented the Club and everything I’ve achieved in my life since is due to Kaizer Chiefs. I want to wish the Club well. We want the Club to go back to those glory days, that is what Chiefs is all about,” says Spencer.