Cape soccer stalwart honoured with lifetime achiever’s award

MARK WARD

Grassy Park resident Roderick Siljeur, 68, was amongst several stalwarts inducted as SAFA Life Time achievers for his contribution to football.

Siljeur’s contribution to football spans more than five decades, from his playing days at his beloved Clarewood, to coach and administrator where he went onto nurture the talents of 1996 Bafana Bafana African Nation Cup hero Mark Williams.

Safa Cape Town president Bennett Bailey, left, handing over a Life Time achievers award to Roderick Siljeur. Picture: Mark Ward

While Siljeur did not attend the official function held earlier this year at the Cape Town Civic Centre, a private function attended by close family was arranged for him at the home of his son, Ricardo, where Bennett Bailey, president of Safa Cape Town handed over the award.

Siljeur, who was not aware of the ceremony, was overwhelmed during the occasion, when Bailey made the handover.

“It is indeed a great honour to be inducted for my contribution. But there were others who made this possible for me to have enjoyed the sport. I pay tribute to those. But I’m indeed grateful for the award and the occasion,” said Siljeur.

He reminisced how he represented the then Alliance Football Board, with its headquarters at the Rosmead Avenue sports ground, at junior level, just down the road from his birthplace in Claremont.

He, however, spent most of his upbringing in Rondebosch East before apartheid’s Group Areas Act forced him and his family out of the suburb.

He is married to former athlete and top sport administrator Sharon (née Alexander).

At the age of 19, he along with teammates Ronald “Polla” Martin, Arthur Lewis, Gregory Baker, Vernon Baker, Peter Roolf to mention a few all got drafted up into the senior team of the great Clarewood team of the 60’s and 70’s with Don Richards the manager of the time.

He even had a short stint with the Glenville Professional side during their time in the Federation League before a bad knee injury sustained during a game for Clarewood’s Premier team, left him with no choice but to take up the coaching reins.

Roderick Siljeur, second from left, with his family, sons Damian, Ricardo and wife Sharon. Picture: Mark Ward

He was in charge of a team where the talented striking trio of Abubaker “Boebie” Jacobs, Mark Williams and Shaun Lodewyk left an Indelible mark on local football especially in 1985 which saw Clarewood winning the magical treble which allowed them automatic promotion to the Virginia Super league in 1986. Apart from the deadly striking trio he coached, players such Enrico Marinus, Andre Alexander and Mark Williams also emerged prominently on the local scene.

Siljeur recalled how his side clinched the Charity Shield in 1987 when they beat the mighty Battswood side 5-1.

“Boebie went on to play for rivals Battswood in the Federation Professional League, Mark went to Santos, Sundowns, Kaiser Chiefs, while Shaun went to Hellenic. Mark went further and played for Bafana Bafana in the 1996 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and scored the winner in the final before going onto play in the EPL for Wolverhampton,” said Siljeur.

He is also a stalwart and founder member of the Athlone Athletics baseball Club and was the last chairperson of the Wolves before they merged with Dynamos to form the A’s club in the mid 1990s.