“Spartacus” won a brilliant victory

“Spartacus” won a brilliant victory (that would be 25 years later as well). Losing in “Luzhniki” speeded up the parting of “Liverpool” with one of the most legendary goalkeepers in the history of the club. Graham Souness did not praise Bruce when he was a player, and becoming a coach – the more. The last straw was Grobbelaar’s conflict with Steve McManaman. The veteran goalkeeper did not hesitate to hang a slap on the rising star for bleeding in the game with Everton, which led to the goal in Bruce’s goal. McManaman threw up his fists, but then changed his mind, remembered that his offender knew forty ways of killing.

Forty ways to deprive a person of life

Bruce Grobbelar, by origin, is a descendant of the Dutch, who migrated to southern Africa in time immemorial. Everyone probably knows who are the Boers from Louis Bussenard’s book Captain Daredevil. Bruce himself was born in South African Durban, but grew up in neighboring Southern Rhodesia. He worked on his father’s farm, studied, played football with both blacks and white peers. He dreamed of becoming a football player and became it. He played in the gates of local clubs, for a youth, even for the first team of Southern Rhodesia played once. But all plans were crossed out by war. In the late seventies, Southern Rhodesia remained one of the few countries in Africa that did not receive independence. The war broke out between black and white. Nineteen-year-old Bruce was drafted into the army and enlisted in the spetsnaz of parachute troops. Israeli military instructors, who were attracted to the colonial regime of Jan Smith, taught the Rhodesian commandos to kill. As Grobbelar himself later admitted, in a short time he was taught forty ways to kill. Soon Bruce had to apply skills in practice. The young soldier himself sent more than twenty enemies to the next world. The unit, where the future champion of the Champions Cup served, was prepared for the liquidation of the leader of the separatists, Robert Mugabe, the current president of Zimbabwe. But it did not work out. Bruce was on the losing side and was forced to flee Rhodesia, which turned into Zimbabwe, into neighboring South Africa.

Bruce never talked about what he had to endure. About their military exploits and defeats. About wounds, if they were. He tried with all his strength to wrest these one and a half year from his life. Even his too pretentious, clownish manner in the field was an attempt to cope with the post-mortem syndrome. “After what I experienced in the war, I can only perceive football as a show,” Grobbelar once said.

Before becoming a goalkeeper, he sent to the next world twenty people. The story of the Liverpool legend Photo: Liverpool, LFCHistory

Happy tickets

And began walking on the agony. In the Republic of South Africa, refugees from Rhodesia were received coldly, and local black people were completely hostile. In Durban City, where Bruce settled, almost all the partners were indigenous Africans. And they frankly rafted the young goalkeeper. I had to leave. The Grobberarov family found themselves in the United States. But football in the States was not going through the best of times, and the rastrenized guy from Rhodesia turned out to be of no use to anyone. Bruce tried his hand at baseball, but was drawn to football. Trying to get a job in England was unsuccessful. Bruce offered his services to a variety of clubs, but everywhere he was denied. And all of a sudden, by some miracle, I managed to get a job in a non-football country, namely in Canada – in the club “Vancouver Whitecaps”. It turned out that during the war years Grobbelaar did not forget how to play. Coach “white caps” Tony Wagers, former goalkeeper, “Burnley”, felt that he had a talent. Friendly friend of the African and the main goalkeeper of “Vancouver” Englishman Phil Parks. Bruce’s debut was unsuccessful, Whitecasts lost to Los Angeles Astes 0-2, one of the two goals scored by the great Johan Cruyff. But then Grobbelar got accustomed and for a year managed to drive out the older comrade Parks from the gate. Phil did not take offense, and together with Tony Wapers promised to look for Bruce a place in England.