Rammies to roll back the years… seven decades of excellence

Windhoek: One of the pioneers of the overall development of football, as well as in the fight against segregation in the game, Ramblers Sports Club, is to roll back the years as the club celebrates 70 years of excellence.

Called into life in 1945 by a small group of defiant hot-headed blokes who refused point-blankly to be bullied into chasing the oval ball (rugby) against their wishes – Ramblers went on to establish themselves as trendsetters in many aspects of the game.

The club supplied a significant number of representatives for the all-whites team that included inspirational captain Hasso Ahrens in the first ever multi-racial clash against the black invitational side way back in 1975. This particular exhibition spectacle would ultimately pave the way for the inevitable amalgamation of domestic football.

Rammies won the inaugural edition of the highly competitive multi-racial Central Division One League, edging ahead of Katutura glamour football club African Stars. However, the Reds had the last laugh by taking sweet revenge to claim the coveted crown for the National League in the maiden season of multi-racial football 1977.

Stars completed a double over their cross-town rivals – leaving the Bobby Craddock-inspired blue and white stripped outfit to pick up the pieces for the consolation runner-up spot in the equally coveted then FA Cup, the then much revered Mainstay Cup.

The club added another chapter to the history books when they became the first sports institution to introduce and conceptualize the integration of footballers of colour into their structures.

The decision was met with disdain by some of the club’s thick-skulled conservatives and subsequently led to divided opinions with some of the club’s trusted cronies resolving to severe all ties with the institution.

Nevertheless, the likes of Manuel Coelho, Andy Alfheim, Siggy Frewer, Peter Snyman, the late Georg Behrens and others firmly threw their frames on the line and would not budge.

Their courageous visionary approach finally paid dividends as Rammies attracted the crème de la crème of all the finest talent on offer at the dawn of Namibia’s independence in 1990.

In the meantime, Ramblers has exported one of the most lethal strikers in the PSL in the shape of Henrico Botes, whom they sold to Soweto giants Morroka Swallows in the 2005/2006 campaign.

The club’s many achievements include a league title under the shrewd stewardship of former robust defender Gary Sales in 1992.

Ramblers boast a stinking rich history cousined with an astonishing résumé second to none and many a neutral football observer attributes this to good administration, vision and transparency.

As it stands, financial constraints obliged the club to dispose of its most valuable asset, their MTC Premiership status – having ceded their place among the country’s elite clubs to Unam but plans are underway to revive their fortunes within the not so distant future.

All past and current members of the Rammies family are requested to converge at the club’s premises in Pionierspark, south of Windhoek, on November 7 to relive and cherish the good old days. Proceedings get underway at 11h00 and wind their way throughout the day to the Fruhschoppen, with entertainment including live music.