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South Africas first recorded soccer match 30/08/04
SASoccer365 recently started a new series - 'S.A. Soccer History' - and we are now excited to announce that we now have an expert in this field who will be continuing the series for us - Peter Raath - who is well known for his book - 'Soccer Through The Years'.

SASoccer365 recently kicked off a new series, 'SA Soccer History', to look back at early days and the origins of the beautiful game in this country.

We are excited to announce that we now have an expert in this field who will be continuing the series for us - Peter Raath - who is well known for his book on the history of S.A. soccer, 'Soccer Through The Years'.

London-born Peter Raath spent the first three years of his life in England - arriving in South Africa in 1955. After matriculating at Kingsway High School in Amanzimtoti, KwaZulu-Natal he travelled the world extensively.

However, a serious illness curtailed his 'adventurous spirit' and while bedridden with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) during the late 1990s, the soccer fanatic was suddenly inspired to begin a writing career. He is currently domiciled back in the UK from where he interviews 'Golden Oldies' for Soccer-Laduma.

Soccer Through The Years 1862-2002, which took over three years to complete, is a 400-page hard covered coffee-table publication. Although divided into chapters, the format is essentially that of an encyclopaedia, with the text broken down into sections under the relevant sub-headings.

It is profusely illustrated, contains a wealth of information and has had good reviews in the UK where FourFourTwo, Programme Monthly, Soccer History and various club programmes have given it the thumbs up.

The book has almost sold out in South Africa, although there may still be a few copies available from Select Books in Long Street and Exclusive Books in Johannesburg.

For more information on this informative book, you can visit Peter's website at www.soccerthroughtheyears.com, or e-mail him at , or order the book via www.amazon.com.

To kick of the new series, Peter goes right back to the very early days of soccer in this country - to the very first recorded match, way back in 1862!

South Africas first recorded soccer match

South Africas first recorded soccer match appeared in Port Elizabeths Eastern Province Herald on 23 May 1862 as follows: 
"The old game of football is again to be revived - we are informed that the first game of the season will be played on the Saturday next in front of the Grey Institute at 3 oclock.

"Saturday afternoon is the capital day for such sports and the pleasure to be derived from witnessing this game will doubtless induce many of our towns folks to be present."

This match played on the Donkin Reserve, was probably between a Home Born XI and a Colonial Born XI because the Port Elizabeth Library has two original photographs (dated 1862), depicting a group of men posing confidently for the camera - dressed in long trousers, long sleeve shirts and hats. The colonial team were distinguishable by their blue strips, while the local men wore red.

People didnt have much time for sport in those days. They worked from dusk to dawn, Monday to Saturday. Sunday was the day that everyone was supposed to attend church, but men had difficulty in this respect.

They needed something else in their lives during the long week, and it was the advent of early closing on a Saturday - with the idea of getting more men to church - which opened the way for the game of soccer and other recreational activities.

The 1862 revival of soccer in the Cape of Good Hope didnt appear to last long because records state that in 1881 a Mr. Fullerton, a former player with Queens Park (Scotlands oldest club), established Wanderers as the first official club in Port Elizabeth.

But his death was a blow to the game and it died with him.

In fact the early history of 'socker' in Port Elizabeth was one of fits and starts, and another further failed attempt was made to re-establish the sport in 1890.

We therefore do not know the exact date when the first football was kicked in South Africa (SA). However, what we do know is that it was in the windy city of Port Elizabeth, founded by one-time Acting Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir Rufane Donkin when he visited settlers there in April 1820.

Port Elizabeth was named after his first wife Elizabeth Francis and the first recorded round ball game was played on a piece of land named after him.

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