Gordon Igesund Vs. Kaizer Chiefs - 38 Years In The Making.
Gordon Igesund Highlands Park Vs. Kaizer Chiefs 1979 Mainstay Cup Final
Kaizer Chiefs will lock horns with Highlands Park this weekend at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. On the face of it, this is a regular league game. However, if you dig a little deeper you will find a rich history that runs through this encounter.
Some of our younger readers may not know that Highlands Park has not always existed as the team which gained promotion from the NFD last season, and look dangerously close to returning there come the end of this season. Highlands Park used to be one of the main powerhouses of South African football.
Highlands Park were highly placed in the white leagues, and when the leagues combined often had a back-and-forth tussle for power with Kaizer Chiefs.
In 1979 Kaizer Chiefs and Highlands Park played in the Mainstay Cup Final. The game was played in front of a capacity crowd at the Rand Stadium. All the legends were in attendance, Ace Ntsoelengoe, Computer Lamola and Ryder Mofokeng were representing the Amakhosi.
Highlands Park had legendary goalkeeper Eugene Klynhans, striker Stuart Lilly and fellow attacker Gordon Igesund.
The game finished 2-2 in 90 minutes and then 3-3 after extra time. There were many fights and incidents of crowd rowdiness, the referee, wanting to avoid a stampede, disallowed a late Highlands Park goal and the game finished a draw. A reply was played two weeks later at Orlando Stadium where Chiefs won 2-0.
In that 1979 Mainstay Cup final, Gordon Igesund set up one of the goals. Now he has returned, 38 years later to coach the team he used to play for. Interestingly, Igesund was playing in that final a year before his oldest player Surprise Moriri was born.
Do you have any memories of the old Highlands Park or Kaizer Chiefs?