Chiefs take the JPS trophy

Doctor Khumalo and Shane MacGregor scored in the 88th and 89th minute respectily, to help Kaizer Chiefs beat Moroka Swallows 2-1 in the second leg of the JPS Smooth Series on 2 September 1989. Amakhosi had won the first leg 2-0 and therefore lifted the JPS trophy for the second year in a row.

It was already Chiefs’ third trophy that season after having taken the BP Top 8 competition in February and the Ohlsson’s Challenge in May. Amakhosi went on to win the league title as well.

MacGregor had scored twice against Swallows in the first leg, which was played at Kings Park Stadium in Durban.

“We completely outclassed Swallows in that first leg,” recalls former midfielder Wellington Manyathi. “And we thought that the second leg would just be a formality.”

The second leg was played at Soccer City, nowadays named FNB Stadium, on the day that the stadium was officially opened.

Amakhosi fielded a formidable line-up, with Gary Bailey in goal and, from the right, Matthews Phiri, Mark Tovey, Howard Freese and Gardner Seale forming the backline.

Trevor Mthimkhulu, Manyathi, Ace Khuse and Khumalo were in midfield, while Marks Maponyane and MacGregor led the attack.

There was a set-back when The Birds went 1-0 up thanks to a goal from Andries Mpondo in the 44th minute, just before the half-time break.

“We were not ready mentally,” admits Manyathi, “because we thought we had already won the cup. Big mistake. That’s not how football works and we got punished for that.”

Chiefs’ coach was Jeff Butler, who had taken charge a year before, on 15 July 1988.

The Englishman didn’t mince words at half-time and told to the team to shape up.

“Butler was always very straightforward,” Manyathi comments about the coach, who passed on in 2017. “If you played badly, he would let you know it.”

“Despite being 1-0 down at half-time, we never panicked,” adds MacGregor, who had joined Chiefs halfway through the previous season, “we knew we would score a goal. We had the will to win. We felt almost unbeatable.”

MacGregor had scored his first goal in the Gold and Black in a game against Orlando Pirates on 12 November 1988, with Amakhosi eventually winning 2-0 at a rain-soaked Ellis Park.

The striker would go on to score 81 times for the Glamour Boys until leaving in 1994 for Pretoria City, which was soon renamed SuperSport United.

Maponyane and MacGregor formed a good partnership up-front. “I was more of the head striker, with Marks making runs around me.”

Thanks to the goals from Khumalo and MacGregor, Chiefs took the 1989 JPS trophy 4-1 on aggregate.

“It sounds strange looking back,” the former striker reflects, “but a cup final was not really special for us. We approached every match as a cup final.”

The strength about Butler as a coach, according to Manyathi, “was to keep it simple and fielding the right players in the right positions. He also made it very clear what he wanted from the team for a specific game as well as from the individual players.”

About what made the team in 1989 so special, Manyathi explains: “We played as a unit, everybody played for the team. So, if I went forward, for example, MacGregor would come back to cover me. We continuously interchanged positions, while keeping the shape of the team.”

The Glamour Boys won not only the Top 8, the JPS trophy and the league, but also the Charity Spectacular that year.

“We knew that, as Kaizer Chiefs, we had to win trophies,” Manyathi reflects. “For the Chairman, Kaizer Motaung, for the supporters… it was in our blood to win. For us, a draw was a loss. We were winners.”