Henry 'The Cat' Cele dies


During the 1960s, Cele starred in the South African Soccer League, which included top clubs like Blackpool, Avalon Athletic, Berea, Maritzburg City, Moroka Swallows, Transvaal United and Orlando Pirates.

The colourful Aces were an all-Indian team until they introduced the dynamic Cele and other African players like Joseph “Excellence” Mthembu and Satellite Mazibuko.

In fact, Aces were one of the leading lights responsible for breaking down race barriers in football and with the famous shot stopper between their posts, huge crowds would flock to Currie’s Fountain and the Royal Show grounds in Pietermaritzburg to get a glimpse of him and his teammates.

Described by a former striker as “a very huge and agile man with a safe pair of hands, a comical character”, Cele later made a name for himself as a movie star portraying Shaka Zulu in the SABC's 1986 Shaka Zulu miniseries.

Four years later, he also starred in The Last Samurai but never lost his love for the beautiful game and was involved in coaching for a number of years.