Thursday, July 26, 2007

Spurs in History - 26th July

26th July, 2003

Orlando Pirates 2 Spurs 1 (Pre-season)

Four years ago Spurs undertook a pre-season tour to South Africa to play two games.

This was the first game against the South African champions and Spurs lost their undefeated start to the season. Spurs went behind midway through the second half but equalised through an own goal from Helder Postiga’s cross within a minute. However, a late penalty won the match for the Pirates.

The point of note from this game was that so impressed were Spurs by the young Pirates central defender, that they signed him the following week and he returned with the Spurs party at the end of the tour.

Mbulelo Mabizela was the South African Captain and an outstanding prospect. His Spurs debut was memorable for the equalising goal against Leicester that set up a winning comeback by the team. However, his time at White Hart Lane was short. He found it difficult to settle in London and in October, 2004, after only nine appearances in fifteen months Tottenham released him by mutual agreement.

Mabizela had been stripped of the South Africa captaincy the previous June after reporting late for training.

The following March, the former South African skipper Mbulelo Mabizela signed a two-year contract with Norwegian clubside Valerenga. Under the terms of the contract,it could be terminated if he is found guilty of behaviour likely to bring the club into disrepute.

The club's inclusion of the clause is based on Mabizela's reported history with his former English club, Tottenham Hotspur, and South Africa's national team.

In August 2006 he returned to South Africa to play for Mamelodi Sundowns but in December he received a six-month ban from the game for drug offences. He has now served his ban and continues to play in South Africa.


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