Throwback Thursday: David Modise


In this throwback we have former Bloemfontein Celtic, Cape Town Spurs, Kaizer Chiefs and Manning Rangers midfield maestro David Modise.

Even in today's generation only a few players can do with the ball what Modise did in his playing days.

He is one of those players who didn't learn how to play the game at school or anywhere else – for him it was simply a God-given talent.

READ: 'Kungwane didn't want me at Chiefs' - Modise

"I started playing football the day I started walking. I don't want to lie. Ask people who grew up with me, they will tell you," Modise tells

His first professional contract was at Phunya Sele Sele at the age of 18, the year he completed his Matric. "My first salary was R500 bro. It could buy something in 1986 you know!"

After Celtic, he joined David Rodwell's fantastic Cape Town Spurs team that boasted the likes of Shaun Bartlett, Thabo Mngomeni, David Nyathi and Craig Rosslee that won the 1995 NSL title and Bob Save Superbowl double under coach Mich D'Avray.

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"I forced that move by force," he says. "It was the beginning of the season in 1994. I told Mr Molemela [Petrus] 'I need you to pay me R2 500, and give me R10 000 to R15 000 signing-on fee'. We couldn't agree, and then I started choosing games that I'm going to play. I would tell them I'm not feeling well.

"By then I was on R1 000, still struggling to get to R2 500. In January I made a call to Cape Town Spurs and luckily when I called they were just talking about me, Mich D'Avray and Terry Ackhurst. That's how I joined them. And Ntate Molemela took back the tracksuit that he gave me."

When Rodwell sold the club, Modise moved to Chiefs and was seen as a replacement for Doctor Khumalo – a heavy burden and some big shoes to fill – after winning the 1995 Players' Player of the Season 

"That's when Sundowns and Chiefs wanted me. I chose Chiefs because Sundowns undermined me. Natasha [Tsichlas] told me that the money that I want, what if I might not perform? It was R6 000 the money that I wanted," he reveals.

"She said, 'No, you can't be like Ernest [Mtawali]' and I said, 'Ernest, how many goals did he score last year? How many goals did I score in the last five years? And I'm not a striker, I'm just a number 10 hey. Look sister, if you don't want me, don't waste my time because I have to go back to Bloemfontein.'

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"And then I left Sundowns, and when I arrived in Bloemfontein Bro Louis [Tshakoane, Chiefs PRO] called me. I went to Chiefs, spoke to Bro K [Kaizer Motaung] and everything was fine. We didn't even waste each others' time. Salary it was more than the R6 000 because there were some incentives."

Halfway through the 1996/97 season Modise left Chiefs for Manning Rangers and helped them win the inaugural PSL league title under Gordon Igesund. He had another stint at Spurs before retiring at Celtic in 2003.

Modise confirms that he has always been a practising Rastafarian.

"Yes, I'm a Rastafarian. The Rastafarian is not about the smoking [of weed]. It's within you. It's not all of them who smoke ganja, it's just that they speak reality," he explains.

"Even if you listen to the Bob Marley songs, they tell you the reality thing, you understand?"

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These days the 56-year-old is sitting at home unemployed.

"Whatever I get to put food on my table, I will do it. But I'm not going to be stranded and I'm not going to put myself under pressure about life," he insists.

"Yes, I was a celebrity, but there was nothing, there was no money... and I'm comfortable with it. I don't like goedes [things]. I'm not a heavy drinker. I don't like parties."

READ: Ex-Chiefs striker Matsau now unemployed

A little gem we found from 1996 – check out this shocking tackle from Lifa Gqosha after Pirates winger Steve Lekoelea provided some 'entertainment' during a 4-1 cup victory over Chiefs!