The beginning of soccer at UP


At that stage the entire TUC was accommodated in two houses, namely Kya Rosa and Kya Lami, situated between Schoeman and Skinner Streets. There were no facilities available for any kind of sport. The ladies had to practise netball in the garden of Kya Rosa as best they could, and soccer was dependent on the generosity of other clubs such as Berea Park, at the Caledonian or the Eastern sports grounds. One of the team members wrote that “we could only indulge in kicking in the school yard next to Prospect House”. Prospect House was the then men’s residence and the “school yard next to” was that of the State Model School. However, the lack of facilities did not deter the sport spirit of these initial groups of students. 


The first captain of the club in 1910 was a British student called WF Candy. He was a veteran of the South African War (1899-1902), who had decided not to return to Britain but to complete his studies at the newly-founded TUC in Pretoria. With his top hat and monocle he cut a fine figure on campus and was elected chairperson of the first student council that year. The soccer team goalkeeper of that time, John Boxwell, or Boxie, also fought “through the entire Boer War” before he became a student. He later became professor in Latin at TUC.


The matter of Wednesday afternoon lectures was one of the first investigated by the Student Council as Candy felt “that the continuation of the classes was inimical to the interest of Sports.” The Senate was therefore approached to change the time table accordingly. The actual reason for this request was that with the number of potential players amounting only to 14 in 1910, it was impossible to get very far in the second soccer league. It was then decided to play for the so called “Wednesday League” where they achieved fourth place.

These pioneering sports students were later referred to as the “super students of those days” who were a “different type of man than today”!



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