Tribute to Gary MacNab

Megan Miranda, a 16-year-old pupil from Northcliff High School in Johannesburg, pays tribute to outgoing 'Beautiful Birds' veteran Gary McNab.

I have known Gary MacNab all my life - I was strapped into my car seat travelling up and down, while he was getting off the bus from school, everyday.

Our family got to know Gary as he would walk past our house everyday to his.

At one stage he played a game of soccer on the double-decker bus with my brother, who was in about standard one at the time.

Gary always had a soccer ball at his feet.

One time he came and played for a little while in our garden. It was like magic watching him as he controlled the ball, my brother wished everyday that he could play like Gary.

He was also so nice to us and especially to me. Do you know that my brother still talks about how Gary played on the top deck of the bus?

All that banging made the bus driver to think that there was something really wrong with the bus at the time.

As time went by Gary went overseas and then he came back. He was very busy, but not busy enough not to make time for me, the young kid, that thought the world of him.

He came to fetch me at school sometimes. Words are not enough to express how important I felt when he did that.

What David Beckham is to others Gary is to me.

It goes further than the game Gary plays, he makes time for others and that is what is so nice about him. I was hoping that I would see him back next season - because there are lots of kids at Northcliff High School that follow his game.

I am so happy that he has received the Moroka Swallows Service Award, he really deserves it. He has loads of experience, and I think he had a few more years to go.

What he has forgotten about the game the others have to learn.

How many games did Gary Miss a game? Hardly any. I will always be his fan as he was so nice to me and always had time for me.

I look at all the sportsmen that South Africa has, and I read in the newspapers about them. I watch them on the rugby field and cricket field and sometimes they can be nasty and have no time for fans, but one thing I will know that I have known the best and he always had time for others.

Gary I love you lots, we all do and if you don't come back we are going to miss your style of play and above all I am going to miss a player with such a kind heart.

You will always be my sporting hero.

You not only played the game of soccer well you know how to play the game of "LIFE".

Thanks very much and all the best for the coming season.

MEGAN MIRANDA (16 years old)
Northcliff High School, Johannesburg

* McNab was the recent recipient of the Moroka Swallows Service Award. The award recognises the loyalty, dedication and the outstanding leadership he has shown throughout his seven years at the club.

The former Raitu Rovers (Scotland) defender, whose contract at the club elapsed at the end of the 2005/06 Castle Premiership season, thanked Swallows management and technical staff for allowing him to be a part of the famous 'Beautiful Birds', also wishing them well for the forthcoming season.

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Wednesday, November 8
Castle Premiership
Swallows v BidVest Wits
Venue: Germiston Stadium

Saturday, November 11
Castle Premiership
Kaizer Chiefs v Swallows
Venue: FNB Stadium

Wednesday, November 22
Telkom Knockout
Ajax Cape Town v Swallows
Venue: Greenpoint Stadium

Sunday, November 5
Telkom Knockout
1-2 v BP United
Venue: Germiston Stadium

Sunday, October 22
Castle Premiership
1-0 v Arrows
Venue: King Zwelithini

Sunday, October 15
Castle Premiership
1-2 v Cosmos
Venue: Germiston Stadium

How far will Swallows finish this season
First position
Top three
Top eight