Obituary: Cyrille Regis

As a youngster – although there is only six years difference – I remember Cyrille Regis well  from his football playing days at West Bromwich Albion, Coventry City and as an England international. As a South African lad back in the dark days of apartheid in the late 1970’s we only got a smattering of English football on SABC television when it first started broadcasting on our African shores as “Match of the Day.” I was an avid Liverpool supporter back then and had collected many a SHOOT! magazine from the UK which I collected almost weekly from our local CNA news agency outlet, where the team posters and/or player profiles would proudly adorn my bedroom walls, that resembled “wall-paper”! Cyrille Regis was among those I idolised. You see, back then I clearly was an idolater who knew there was a “God”, but just did not know Him intimately, and therefore football was my god.

Cyrille Regis playing for West Bromwich Albion against Norwich City in 1978. Photograph: Mark Leech/Getty Images

Sadly, we have now come to learn of the death of Cyrille Regis (read more at his personal website) who passed into eternity on Sunday 14th January 2018, but what is most pleasing to know, which I had not known previously, is that Cyrille had become a born-again Christian! He had placed his faith in Jesus Christ. Whilst death has gripped Cyrille’s body, his soul is not dead, but he has fallen asleep as he lived with a hope that he is more alive now than he had ever been before! I hereby share an obituary for Cyrille Regis (9 February 1958 – 14 January 2018), aged 59, as it appears at the website Christians in Sport (Source):

~~ ooo ~~

Obituary: Cyrille Regis

Date posted: 15/01/18

Cyrille Regis

We thank God for the life of former England footballer and Christians in Sport Trustee Cyrille Regis, who died yesterday at the age of 59.

Cyrille was a legend of West Midlands football and best known as a centre forward for West Bromwich Albion and Coventry City.

Christians in Sport General Director Graham Daniels said:

“Cyrille was an outstanding footballer but much more importantly an outstanding man. His courage as one of the first famous high profile black footballers meant that he became a role model which has changed the canvass of professional football. His faith in Jesus Christ, which he arrived at after the death of his close friend Laurie Cunningham, became a fantastic encouragement to many elite sportspeople to consider their relationship with the God who gave them their talents. The man was a giant in his generation.”

Just the third black player to be capped by England, Cyrille was a pioneer in the fight against racism in football. He played 614 matches and scored 158 goals in a 19-year professional career, which also saw him make five appearances for England. Cyrille’s career highlights included winning the FA Cup with Coventry City in 1987 and scoring the goal of the season, while playing for West Brom in 1981-2. He also had spells with Aston Villa and Wolves, which cemented his popularity in the region.

It was the death in a car crash of his best friend and former teammate Laurie Cunningham in 1989 that prompted Cyrille to ask questions about faith. His search for answers ultimately led to him becoming a Christian after what he described as “a real encounter with Jesus”.

After Laurie’s death, Cyrille started attending church and soon a local baptist minister sent him a book called A New Dimension by Michael Green,

Cyrille_Regis_obit_profile Cyrille said: “As I’m reading this book, the penny drops. It really sinks in that Christ loves me. He died for me and He rose again from the dead and this awesome sense of peace comes over me.”

Cyrille soon became involved with and supported by Christians in Sport as he looked to live out his faith as a professional footballer. Following his retirement in 1996, he became a sports agent and remained passionate about sharing his story of faith.

He said: “I meet people all the time, some famous, some not who are all looking for hope and peace. I have learned that money cannot buy peace of mind so I simply tell people how I found hope and peace in God. The great thing about it is that anyone can have the peace that I have, you just need to know God.”

A member of Renewal Christian Centre in Solihull, Cyrille was a keen advocate of Christians in Sport and joined our Board of Trustees in 2011. Cyrille was also the first interviewee when we launched the Christians in Sport podcast in 2016. On it he shared his story of faith and football with General Director Graham Daniels.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Cyrille’s wife Julia and his family at this time.

Soli Deo Gloria

Advertisements

Coaches must be more than just coaches*

This blog post will look at the responsibilities of a sport’s coach – more specifically in this instance a football (soccer) coach – and how the coach can come to exercise a much greater influence over the players that are in his* care†. Here you will see how to make an impact as a role model that is different from the worldly stereotypes everyone looks to copy.

We will look at the definition of a “coach” from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary who is defined as “one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport and directs team strategy”, as can be read from this extract:  

2 [from the concept that the tutor conveys the student through examinations]

a : a private tutor • hired a coach to help her daughter prepare for the test

b : one who instructs or trains • an acting coacha birth coach; especially: one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport and directs team strategy • a football coach; a pitching coach; a gymnastics coach ~ ©Merriam-Webster Dictionary (since 1828)

However, a coach is also one who teaches individuals, as well as the team collectively, and therefore can also be seen as a teacher or tutor. From a football coaching perspective, the players are instructed and put through their drills during their weekly practices, and the test as to what they have actually learnt and how well they can execute their skills and the game plan (team strategy) is then performed during their team matches. You will often hear from a coach after a match when the plan was not executed so well – which is most often – that, “At the end of the day, we must go back to the drawing board” which in essence, by that common cliché, the coach is saying, “We have to rectify our problems.”

A coach’s arsenal does not only consist of coaching manuals that deal with fitness exercises, skill techniques, game strategies, the laws of the game, and the like, as well as the tangible things like the kits, balls, beacons, and other equipment, but part of his arsenal is also how he presents himself and conducts himself around his young players, the young boys and girls who are impressionable and have learning minds. The players writer is specifically referring to in this article are those in the U6 through U17 age groups. Often coaches do not realise that they leave many a lasting impression upon the youngsters that are in their care and it is common, but not a hard rule, where parents have advised their child on certain aspects of the game and a common comeback by their child is: “But my coach says I should . . .” or “But my coach says . . .” [fill in the blank]! At times it appears that the “coach” knows better and holds a higher authority than the parents! This might well be concerning the qualifications and experience in coaching the sport, but not necessary when it comes to life skills and spiritual matters. It would therefore be common cause to ask yourself some searching questions concerning the coach:

  • When a coach speaks, what is his world view? and what is he actually saying?
  • Can he be trusted in what he speaks about? and what life skills is he teaching the players?
  • And morally, how does he impact upon his students?

Bill Shankly

This treatise will put all in perspective when one considers one of the “greatest coaches” Bill Shankly, a Liverpool manager on Merseyside from 1959–1974, who is quoted as saying: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” It is sad to think many, many coaches hold to this world view, of which I too was one of them. But my world view has changed, and I can assure you football is not much, much more important than life and death. Coaching football has far greater lessons to be learned than just honing football players’ God-given talents. On Tuesday 29th September 1981 at the age of 68 when the socialist William “Bill” Shankly passed into eternity, he was assured that football is not “much, much more important” than life and death. Shankly died precisely on time, and scripture records it plainly:

27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ~ Hebrews 9:27

[A Gospel Tract: My Friends Are Dying And, Though They Be Alive, They Are Dead Men Walking ~ A Message of Hope ~]

Good-Coach-Great-Coach-copy-768x512

A quote by John Wooden (a past American basketball player and UCLA head coach who won 10 NCAA National Championships in a 12 year period, including an unprecedented 7 in a row), reads as follows: “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.” This is true in many respects, but I will further elaborate and add, that, A truly great coach will strive to win souls. Even if it is just one soul won, this is a far greater perspective for a coach than just changing “a game” or “a life.” In the physical realm, lives can be changed when a person’s lot or circumstances in life changes for the better. But a soul won spiritually has eternal rewards that far outweigh the physical here and now. There is wisdom in winning souls. The Holy Bible records it as follows, for it is written,

30  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. ~ Proverbs 11:30

Whilst most coaches teach from a secular world view, and in some cases they might even throw in some religious mumbo-jumbo, it is imperative that coaches aspire to train children and coach with a Biblical world view or they are bound to fail in this life. Many championships, accolades, trophies, medals, certificates and the like might be won, but without a God-centred Biblical world view every achievement will waste away and be nothing but dross! Following on from here is the reasons why a God-centred Biblical world view is imperative and non-negotiable.

In order for the above Proverbs 11:30 scripture verse to be applied, the person (in this case a coach) would have to be righteous before GOD, and the only way he can be righteous is by being a born again Christian – a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, a child of GOD! Jesus said, “. . . Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.~ John 3:3. The word “verily” comes from a Greek word [281]†† amēn, am-ane, of Hebrew origin [543]†† that means trustworthy, surely as an interjection meaning so be it. In the Hebrew [543]†† âmên, aw-mane’, means sure; abstract faithfulness; adverb truly – Amen, so be it, truth. Jesus Christ, Who is truth (see John 14:6), is emphasising the trustworthiness of His statement, the very essence of truly, truly, amen – so be it! There is no other way to get into the Kingdom. If a person is not born again of the Spirit of the living God, that person cannot see the kingdom of God. To be a true believer you need to know the KING of the Kingdom or there is no access! For access is through having eternal life which in the words of Jesus, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.~ John 17:3. That would leave every person that is excluded from the kingdom of God a condemned rebellious sinner who is headed for hell and the lake of fire come Judgment Day (see Revelation 20:14,15). Jesus taught and preached the kingdom of God, and so must truly born again Christians teach and preach the kingdom of God, HIS Kingdom! Not this worldly kingdom, for it is fast wasting away!

In the Holy Bible God gives born again Christians a mandate to be ambassadors for Christ who have the ministry of reconciliation, to represent the kingdom of God here upon the earth. Just as any ambassador from a country, say South Africa, would find himself in a foreign land, say England, that South African ambassador represents South Africa in England upon English soil. So God has His believers as ambassadors representing His Kingdom here on earth for His glory and purposes alone in the ministry of reconciliation, which is the work of an evangelist reconciling sinners back to God, as we can read from God’s Word in context, for it is written:

17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 
20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 
21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Be Biblical, a Biblicist Therefore, to be truly a “great coach”, one must be truly a born again Christian as the Bible defines a believer. However, the “great coach” does not define the believer, but the Great GOD whom he serves in that capacity as an ambassador for Christ! “He [JESUS] must increase, but I must decrease.” ~ John 3:30 [insertion by writer]. For many of the young players have never read the Bible, but the only “Bible” they will ever read may be the coach’s lifestyle: watching your every action, listening to your every word, and observing your morality. We read about this in scripture, for it is written,

2  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 
3  Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:2,3

If a coach is a true disciple of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, he will stand for truth, for Jesus Christ is truth! He would not want to lie and be a false witness, but speak truth in love at all times. He would want to be Christ-like in word, thought and deed. Jesus prayed to God the Father, “16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:16,17). Therefore, truth comes from God, and there can be only one truth. Truth is not subjective, one truth for one person and another truth for another person. Truth is 100%. If there is but 0.1% untruth mixed in with 99.9% truth, the 0.1% untruth will render the whole untrue! Truth will always be 100% or the portion of untruth will render it a lie, deception or a man’s fabrication (opinion)! Truth is objective – there is only ONE truth, and Jesus Christ IS that truth! He said, “6 I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.~ John 14:6,7.

We are also warned in Colossians 2:8, as we read, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Therefore, if any man as a coach comes in his own stead and strength, he is lacking the truth of God in Christ Jesus. If he comes preaching and teaching with the doctrines and traditions of men, holding to vain babblings of a secular nature and man-made religious practices that are contrary to the Holy Word of God, The Bible, then he is a false teacher, a deceiver, an enemy of God. This will only lead to deception with vain words. However, a true child of God, who teaches as an oracle of God, will hold to the following instructions as to who he is in Christ Jesus, for it is written,

1  Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 
2  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 
3  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 
4  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 
5  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 
6  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 
7  Be not ye therefore partakers with them. ~ Ephesians 5:1-7

Dear coach, what are you teaching the children, your players in your care? Are you a reflection of Christ in word, thought and deed? Or do you speak as the world? think as the world? and act as the world? “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1), and the half brother of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3), wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” ~ James 4:4. Being a coach are you a friend of the world? And are you teaching and training your players to love the world and what it has to offer?

As a coach you should also guard against having a covetous spirit and making football an idol. There is a fine divining line between playing the game for God’s glory and playing the game for self glory. Also, if a coach and/or the players and/or the parents know more about football than about their Creator God, or they place Truthfootball ahead of their Creator God, then football has become an idol in their lives and football is their god. This goes for anything in life. If  possessions, money, property, cars, music, sport, alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, career, cell phones, social media, partying, friends, family, religion, etcetera, etcetera, takes precedence in your life over, above and before God, then you are an idolater. God warns in the First and Second of the Ten Commandments, for it is written,

3  Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 
4  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 
5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 
6  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:3-6 (see also Deuteronomy 5:7-10)

As can be seen in verse 5 here above, idolatry which is idol worship is hatred of God.

In order to win souls for Christ by teaching and preaching the kingdom of God, the coach must not only be His ambassador, but he needs to know what the constitution of the kingdom of God says and teaches. The constitution by which we are to live is the God-breathed Holy Bible scriptures, and not man-made constitutions, customs and traditions, confession of faiths and catechisms, or false religious writings, all that blaspheme and promote sin against the Creator God YHVH, for we read, as it is written, YHVH

16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16,17

To win youngsters over and teach them Truth, coaches must first and foremost have a relationship with the God they profess to teach about, for their teaching will be an act of worship and praise to the God of Creation. That is why we are warned in scripture to not “give heed to fables” (1 Tim. 1:4), to “refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7), and we are encouraged by the apostles “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16).

A coach also needs to be extremely watchful and guard what comes out of his mouth, “34 . . . for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. . . . 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:34,36,37). By way of an example, whilst writer was one Saturday afternoon assisting with an U10 match, an U8/U9 coach committed blasphemy by using the Son of God’s name Jesus Christ to show disgust at his team missing an opportunity to score a goal. Writer immediately rebuked the U8/U9 coach in front of other parent spectators, including a Muslim man standing within ear shot. In a very short period of time the team scored and the said coach retorted that he had “invoked” Jesus’ name and that is why they had scored. He made light of his sin and tried to justify his blasphemy. However, the terminology of the word “invoked” is a ". . . We ought to obey God rather than men." ~ Acts 5:29 Roman Catholic (RC) word that fits with the RC’s doctrine and dogma teachings. The words “invoke” or “invoked” are not found in the Holy Bible scriptures. In the RC Catechism #969 you can read, quote: “. . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."510. This is false teachings as the Holy Bible says there is only one Mediator, as can be read, for it is written in God’s Word, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” (1 Timothy 2:5), and the only Advocate we have in scripture is found in 1 John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”. For what is sin? We read, for it is written, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4). And Jesus Christ came to fulfil the law, as we read, for it is written in God’s Word, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17). And the ONLY Advocate Jesus Christ fulfilled the law, not Mary!

Now how can this coach teach children, if he ever did, about the God-Man Jesus Christ when he blasphemes Him by using His Holy Name in vain to show disgust towards his young players? The said RC coach cannot be a true witness of truth when he violates the Third of the Ten Commandments, which reads, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7). As a Roman Catholic he is teaching another gospel holding to the teachings of the pope-induced man-made catechism that is contrary to the Word of God as can be seen under the example here above dealing with the word “invoked” which is a heresy. Cursed are all that preach any other gospel and would pervert the gospel of Christ, for it is written,

6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 
7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 
8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 
9  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 
10  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 
11  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 
12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. ~ Galatians 1:6-12

ReligionsTherefore, as can be seen from what has been said above, coaches are more than just coaches. It is dangerous ground when a coach has a flawed world view and conveys his message to his players that they are to respect all religions, when God makes it known that there is only ONE Truth, for God is intolerant! God does not tolerate sin and neither should Christians! Coaches need to avoid secular philosophies and false religions that violate truth. God reveals, for it is written,

22  For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us. ~ Isaiah 33:22

8  I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. ~ Isaiah 42:8

17  They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. ~ Isaiah 42:17

10  Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11  I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. ~ Isaiah 43:10,11

15  I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. ~ Isaiah 43:15

25  I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. 
26  Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. ~ Isaiah 43:25,26

6  Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. ~ Isaiah 44:6

8  . . . Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. ~ Isaiah 44:8

6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 
7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
~ John 14:6,7

3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. ~ John 17:3

9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 
10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 
11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:9-11

In closing, coaches need to have their “. . . repentance toward God, No greater joyand faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21), not just any ‘Jesus’ of their own choosing, before they can even consider being used of God to win a soul for Christ. If not, they might impact upon a child’s life by either changing “a game” or changing “a life” in this present evil world, but that child will still remain an enemy of God through wicked works! We read about the Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry, for it is written,

34  And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
36  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
38  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
~ Mark 8:34-38

Dear coaches, if you are not serving the one and only true God in your coaching, you are wasting your time. And you will be accountable for your every action, every word, and every thought come the day of judgment. Today is the day of salvation. Repent and believe before it is too late . . .

Soli Deo Gloria______________________

Footnotes:

* The male gender reference to the “Coach” is also applicable to the female gender. However, in this context women can witness for Christ, but women are not allowed to be public teachers in the church usurping authority over men (see 1 Timothy 2:11-15).

† A coach exercises a great sphere of influence upon players in their care just as a school teacher would do the same in education. However, it should be noted that the parents have a God-given responsibility to teach their child/ren about God and the Bible. We are instructed in Scripture, for it is written,

6  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6

In the event that the player’s parents are not true Christians, the Christian coach should teach and preach Christ Jesus to both parents and child/ren.

Teach Your Son

†† Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance Expanded Edition, Copyright 2004 by AMG Publishers: James Strong, LL.D., S.T.D. Edited by Warren Baker.

2017 Maritzburg District Football Association (M.D.F.A.) U10

27  He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.
28  And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29  And Jesus answered him,
The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 
30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 
31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 
32  And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: ~ Mark 12:27-32

2017 M.D.F.A. Under 10

By the grace of a divine GOD and through His blessed Son, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, according to His will and purpose, I was chosen as an assistant coach for the Maritzburg District Football Association (M.D.F.A.) Under 10 team that participated in the SAFA Pinetown Local Football Association (PLFA) Junior Incoming Tournament that took place on 6-7 October 2017 at the Forest Hills Sports Club, KZN. The Tournament hosted teams from Gauteng that represented Rand Central, Easterns, and Pretoria, and the KZN Associations from Durban, Pinetown and Pietermaritzburg (M.D.F.A.).

For a team that came together for about three weeks before the tournament commenced, the M.D.F.A. Under 10 team performed and equipped themselves reasonably well against the well drilled teams from the Gauteng province. We were informed that a team like Easterns had already been in preparation for four (4) months leading up to the tournament. So finishing fourth out of eight teams was an achievement in itself. The squad comprised sixteen players, two coaches and a manager. The squad assembled was as per the team photo above and the squad listing hereunder:

  1. Ryan Mustard (GK – Savages FC)
  2. Thando Hlophe (Pirates FC)
  3. Andile Ngwane (Savages FC)
  4. M.D.F.A. LogoKofi Atta (Pirates FC)
  5. Baseer Abrahams (Savages FC)
  6. Siyamthanda Skhakhane (Savages FC)
  7. Curt Rogers (Pirates FC)(Captain)
  8. Cee-Jay Mulder (Pirates FC)
  9. Kaydon Adonis (Pirates FC)
  10. Malachi Momplé (Pirates FC)
  11. Tynin Sampson (Savages FC)
  12. Farhdeen Khan (Westside Lads)
  13. Azande Zondi (GK – Pirates FC)
  14. Thuba Myeni (MDAS)
  15. Deolin Marais (City Saints)
  16. Declan Pillay (Savages FC)
  • Miles Rogers (Head Coach – Pirates FC)
  • Gary Crous (Assistant Coach – Pirates FC)
  • Mrs. Leigh Mustard (Manager – Savages FC)

The following statistics record our performances. We played three matches on Friday 6 October 2017, starting off well with two straight wins, but losing in the third match. Kindly note that at Under 10 level you have nine players per team on the field with substitutes available. Here are the results:

Line-up 01 Line-up 02 Line-up 03

And on Saturday 7 October 2017 we played four matches as follows, failing to score on day two which might well have cost us a position or two. However, one should always remember that GOD knew our results and position even before it came to pass:

Line-up 04 Line-up 05 Line-up 06 Line-up 07Final Log Positions

The team was well supported by the players’ parents over the two days and here are some photographs to enjoy in random order:

The M.D.F.A. U10s showing off their squad numbers  IMG-20171007-WA0002Assistant Coach Gary Crous in the rain Thulani Zondi and son Azande Two Soccer Moms giving their support(L) Declan Pillay and (R) Farhdeen Khan  vs. Easterns "A"Curt Rogers taking a free kick . . .  . . . and kicking it up fieldAndile Ngwane clearing in defence vs. Easterns "A" Team Manager/Photographer Leigh MustardVincent Myeni, dad of Thuba  Boys milling around between matches. L-R: Deolin Marais (obscured) by Cale (#6 U11), Thando Hlophe, Kaydon Adonis, Baseer Abrahams, Curt Rogers and Thuba MyeniC.J. Sukraj and Thabiso Madlala of Soccer Kids Academy/DCLFA(Durban)  M.D.F.A. U10 Goalkeeper Ryan MustardDCLFA (Durban)(L) and M.D.F.A. (Pietermaritzburg)(R) line-up before the match  Captain Curt RogersCee-Jay Mulder and Malachi Momplé on the ball  Cee-Jay Mulder showing determinationAyanda Mdlalose (DCLFA) and Kaydon Adonis (M.D.F.A.) compete for the ball  Curt Rogers and an opponent and looking on is Cee-Jay MulderGame over and the sportsmanship handshaking  Win or Lose friendships prevail

The players’ rewards for their wonderful performances were being acknowledged in The Witness, a local newspaper, on two occasions thanks to our Media Liaison Officer, our Manager Mrs Leigh Mustard. Well done boys!

The Witness, Tuesday 10 October 2017 The Witness, Thursday 12 October 2017In closing, my ongoing prayer in completion of this time spent with these precious boys, their parents and the coaching staff is that GOD will be merciful and all will come to true repentance and faith in the only Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ, the Son of the true and living GOD YEHOVAH! For,

43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
~ Matthew 5:43-48

Soli Deo Gloria

____________________________

Foot Notes:

To all who did not receive the Gospel tract My Friends Are Dying And, Though They Be Alive, They Are Dead Men Walking please do spend some time reading the same at the link and where necessary, Repent and Believe. ~ Your friend, Gary

A related blog posting to also be read: 2017 Champions ~ Are You Ready?

A Tragedy on the N3

ER24 paramedics reported that 48 children have been injured in the crash‚ which forced the closure of the N3 northbound carriageway. Image IPSS MEDICAL RESCUE A tragedy took place on the N3 National Highway just outside Pietermaritzburg when a bus transporting four Under 16 football (soccer) teams from the prestige Michaelhouse College en route to play Kearsney College had what appears a tyre blowout that caused the bus to crash.

It is reported that on Tuesday 5th September 2017 a Michaelhouse student Themba Dloti (16) lost his life at the scene of the accident and 47 other injured students including staff members were rushed to hospitals to have their injuries treated. The Witness newspaper reports as follows:

     Midlands school bus tragedyScreenshot_20170907-044937

2017-09-06 11:21

Nompilo Kunene & Kailene Pillay

Pietermaritzburg – A Michaelhouse pupil was killed and 47 others were injured when the bus they were travelling in to play soccer at Kearsney College overturned on the N3 near Hilton on Tuesday afternoon.

The pupil who died was identified by the school as Themba Dloti (16) whose family are from Johannesburg.

Greg Theron, the Michaelhouse rector (principal) said a hired bus transporting four under-16 soccer teams to Kearsney College suffered a tyre blow-out going down Townhill and flipped onto its side.

When The Witness arrived at the scene the bus was lying on its side and blocking the northbound traffic lane. Among the crash debris and pools of oil were school bags with tracksuits, running shoes and sports kit spilled out of them. [Read the full report Here]Emergency personnel look at school bags and debris scattered across the N3 northbound after a bus carrying 46 pupils and four staff from Michaelhouse crashed on Tuesday afternoon. (Ian Carbutt)

Michaelhouse pupil Themba Dloti died in the crash on Townhill on Tuesday. (Facebook ) Dear friends, it is always a tragic event when parents have to bury their beloved child when it should be the other way around, and we at Repent and Believe South Africa Christian evangelical ministry send our heart felt condolences to the bereaving Dloti family and the Michaelhouse community at large praying for healing both spiritually and physically to all affected. Writer who is a Level 3 High School football referee normally takes opportunities at school matches to hand out Christian Gospel literature to pupils and staff challenging them to consider their lives in light of eternity. Life is fleeting and we never know when it will be our time to pass into eternity. It is in preparation for the unknown tragedies, such as this one, that one must make preparation to meet thy GOD,

27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ~ Hebrews 9:27

Life is so fragile and in Scripture it is likened to a vapour, as we read,

14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. ~ James 4:14

Here today, gone tomorrow. Please make preparation as we present two Gospel tracts for you to read:

> My Friends Are Dying And, Though They Be Alive, They Are Dead Men Walking ~ A Message of Hope ~

> GAME OVER ~ A Real Tragedy ~

Soli Deo Gloria

Evangelism at the United vs Ajax Match 2017/18

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
~ Mark 16:15,16

Ajax Cape TownMaritzburg UnitedWith the 2017/18 Premier Soccer League kicking off last weekend it was good to be out in our Lord’s harvest field once again at the local football stadium being the Harry Gwala Stadium (the former Jan Smuts Stadium).

This praise report is solely for GOD’s glory alone and  that no attention be directed our-way! “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). On the evening of Wednesday 23rd August 2017, Jono and Gary attended at the PSL football match between Maritzburg United and Ajax Cape Town.

A call for repentance Whilst handing out tracts someone made mention of the inscription on the wooden cross: “Are You Ready”? This opened the door to presenting the Gospel. A secular analogy was used to begin with. It went along these lines:

Consider you come to this football match on 23rd August 2017 at the Harry Gwala Stadium, but you have a ticket for another match to gain entrance to the FNB Stadium, you will not gain entrance to the Harry Gwala Stadium because you have an incorrect ticket. The ticket you possess is to gain entrance to another stadium at another destination. You need the correct ticket to gain entrance to this stadium at this destination. Now the same principle applies in the spiritual realm. People are going through life with many religious tickets hoping to gain entrance into the Kingdom of GOD,Raising the Name of Christ Jesus or as they put it “some better place”,  but they have the wrong ticket which is leading them to a wrong destination. You need to have the right “ticket”, so-to-speak, to gain entrance into the Kingdom of GOD which is Heaven. If you have the wrong ticket the only entrance access you will gain is into Hell – which is the wrong destination. The “ticket” you need is to be born-again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you do not have Jesus, you do not have the correct entrance access to the right destination! The devil Satan is a deceiver who sells fraudulent tickets to people who are deceived for the lustful pleasures of this life. They pursue and obtain the wrong tickets that lead to the wrong destination, whilst we evangelists come out here to warn you of your pending destruction through deception. We are pointing you to Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world.

Psalm 34:8  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

We also alerted the fans that whilst There are two ways in lifethey were coming out for some entertainment, there is no guarantees that they would go home. We mentioned the death of two spectators outside the FNB Stadium leading up to the Carling Black Label Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates that took place on Saturday 29th July 2017. It is alleged that the deaths were caused due to a stampede that took place at Gate-J and that fake tickets were being sold. [The article Two killed at FNB Stadium can be read Here.] We also mentioned previous tragedies that took place at football grounds and other tragic accidents [read GAME OVER ~ A Real Tragedy ~]. A mention was also made of the late Mondli Cele (26) who played for Maritzburg United and scored the opening goal in a 3-3 draw against Orlando Pirates on the evening of Saturday 16th January 2016 and lost his life at around 5am the next morning 17th January 2016 when his car crashed into the Msunduzi River in Park Drive, Alexandra Park, just down the road from the Harry Gwala Stadium. [A newsDiscussions . . . and a crowd listening report can be read Here.] Life is so fragile and it can be taken at any moment. These events transitioned into the Gospel of mercy and grace that can save wretched sinners! And as the evening progressed leading to kick-off time there were some heckling, mocking, and reasoning. Praise GOD! Much Gospel literature was distributed as the crowds started increasing.

In closing, we request that you kindly keep us in prayer for our next PSL football outreach, Lord willing, at the Harry Gwala Stadium’s South Gate, which should take place on the evening of Friday 15th September, 2017 from about 17:30 – 20:00

   Maritzburg United                   Orlando Pirates

Maritzburg United vs. Orlando PiratesSoli Deo Gloria

_________________________________

Footnotes:

* For the record Maritzburg United won 2-0 against Ajax Cape Town.

> Maritzburg United 2017/18 Home Fixtures @ Harry Gwala – posted August 17, 2017

> My Friends Are Dying And, Though They Be Alive, They Are Dead Men Walking! Tract – posted March 26, 2017

Maritzburg United 2017/18 Home Fixtures @ Harry Gwala

PSL Maritzburg United The 2017/18 Premier Soccer League in South Africa kicks off on the evening of Friday August 18, 2017 and Lord willing the Repent and Believe South Africa Christian ministry will this season again be evangelising the football fans attending the Maritzburg United home matches at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg KZN. The home league fixtures are listed hereunder where by YEHOVAH’s mercy and grace the Gospel of GOD will be proclaimed by us preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified,

28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: ~ Colossians 1:28

Are you a local who prayerfully can join the Repent and Believe South Africa outreach ministry to obediently reach lost souls? Then we can go in unity of faith and belief, as we read,

9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:9,10

In short, but not limited to, we preach the love of GOD through the doctrines of law and grace, heaven and hell, and “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21); as we also read,

34 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. ~ Acts 2:34

If you are a born-again Christian kindly contact Gary Crous via email or by placing a comment hereunder to join us in the Lord’s harvest field. Brethren, we also kindly request that you keep these outreaches saturated in prayer for our Father to be merciful toward sinners and grant His grace as a gift to lost souls. Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria

AUGUST 2017

Ajax Cape Town WED. 23 @ 19:30 vs. AJAX CAPE TOWN

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2017

Orlando PiratesFRI. 15 @ 20:00 vs. ORLANDO PIRATES

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

 

 

Kaizer ChiefsWED. 20 @ 19:30 vs. KAIZER CHIEFS

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

 

 

Free State StarsFRI. 29 @ 20:00 vs. FREE STATE STARS

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

 

 

OCTOBER 2017

SuperSport United FRI. 27 @ 20:00 vs. SUPERSPORT UNITED

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

 

 

NOVEMBER 2017

Bidvest WitsFRI. 24 @ 20:00 vs. BIDVEST WITS

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

 

 

DECEMBER 2017

Baroka FCFRI. 08 @ 20:00 vs. BAROKA FC

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

 

 

JANUARY 2018

Bloemfontein Celtic FRI. 12 @ 20:00 vs. BLOEMFONTEIN CELTIC

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

Chippa UnitedFRI. 26 @ 20:00 vs. CHIPPA UNITED

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

 

 

FEBRUARY 2018

AmaZulu FCFRI. 16 @ 20:00 vs. AMAZULU FC

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

 

 

Platinum Stars FRI. 23 @ 20:00 vs. PLATINUM STARS

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

 

 

MARCH 2018

Polokwane City FRI. 16 @ 20:00 vs. POLOKWANE CITY

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

 

 

APRIL 2018

Cape Town City FCSAT. 07 @ 20:15 vs. CAPE TOWN CITY FC

>>> Meet @ 18:00 outside the South Gate

 

 

Mamelodi Sundowns WED. 25 @ 19:30 vs. MAMELODI SUNDOWNS

>>> Meet @ 17:30 outside the South Gate

 

 

MAY 2018

Lamontville Golden ArrowsSAT. 12 @ 15:00 vs. GOLDEN ARROWS

>>> Meet @ 13:00 outside the South Gate

 

Soli Deo Gloria

Two killed at FNB Stadium

It shows that life can be lost at any moment. Scripture warns,

27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ~ Hebrews 9:27

Crowd at FNB Earlier this afternoon, sadly two males were killed and many injured during a stampede at Gate-J leading into the FNB Stadium during the seventh edition* of the Carling Black Label Champion Cup between Soweto derby rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. It is reported by News24:

Michael Sun, MMC for public safety for the City of Johannesburg, told News24 they were not sure what caused the stampede, but it is alleged that it involved the selling of fake tickets at the entry gates. (Source)

It is for this very reason why the Repent and Believe South Africa evangelism ministry preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ outside football stadiums, for tragedies can happen at any moment. So, were those who were killed ready to enter eternity? And, Are YOU Ready?

Police have barricaded the area were two males have died during a stampede at the FNB Stadium. (Larato Sejake, News24) To help you examine your life in view of eternity, please read the following gospel tract by clicking the photo Game Over hereunder:

Game Over

This is not the first time there has been loss of life at a Soweto derby match. On April 11, 2001 at the Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, a stampede at an ‘Orlando Derby’ soccer match between arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates led to the death of 43 supporters.

But be reminded, the day of one’s death is never a second too late . . .

Soli Deo Gloria

_______________________________

* 29/07/2017

Kaizer Chiefs 1 – 0 Orlando Pirates

PAST FINALS

2016: Chiefs 2 Pirates 0

2015: Chiefs 1 Pirates 1
(Pirates win 4-3 on penalties)

2014: Chiefs 0 Pirates 0
(Pirates win 6-5 on penalties)

2013: Chiefs 1 Pirates 0

2012: Pirates 1 Chiefs 1
(Pirates win 5-4 on penalties)

2011: Pirates 0 Chiefs 0
(Pirates win 4-3 on penalties)

%d bloggers like this: