THE life and times of footballing legend and coach, Clive Barker, have been documented by local author, Michael Marnewick, in a book which will be launched at Exclusive Books, Gateway, on Thursday, 19 July.
Michael started writing the book, which he calls his ‘labour of love, with the emphasis on labour’, in 2016 and completed the book in February this year.
“We have been family friends since I was a child and I had mentioned writing a book on his life many times. We finally decided to go for it! It was thrilling and humbling to get involved in this project and I grabbed the opportunity with both hands.”
“Clive and I spent a lot of time together during the writing of the book as we live down the road from each other in Glenwood. Clive also wrote parts of the book and I included interviews with footballing greats such as Neil Tovey, Lucas Radebe, Andre Arendse, Mark Fish, Doc Khumalo and Zambian legend, Kalusha Bwalya,” said Michael.
He said it was thoroughly interesting and entertaining writing the book, which gave a historical account of football from the 70s, Clive’s playing days, pre-coaching days when he avoided bankrupcy by driving taxis and how he climbed the professional ranks to become, arguably, South Africa’s most successful national coach. The book revolved largely around the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations and Clive’s coaching days with AmaZulu.
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“Clive was the only white coach in the black townships. He never saw colour. Clive got on top of the psyche of the players and their opponents and knew how to treat individual players, to build them up and to make them prove themselves. Guys don’t always like their coaches, but the players loved Clive,” he said.
Michael said there was a lot of factual information in the book and the part he quite enjoyed was the chapter on muti, which he said covered the cultural aspects of players and gave insight into the cultural side of football in South Africa.
“I also included a chapter on Madiba and how he would visit the team, as well as the energy he brought to the team. The players didn’t want to let him down. This was a time when South Africa needed heroes,” he said.
The book will be launched in Johannesburg this week, and in Durban on 19 July at 6pm. Clive and Michael will be there to speak about the book and the public is encouraged to support the event.
The book will be available at all major book stores including Exclusive Books, Bargain Books and CNA, as well as online as an e-book.