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Reclaiming not personalities but principles

NRSHP is renaming the Bosmont Stadium.

Democracy gave us the freedom of transformation and the Bosmont Football Association’s (BFA) transformation document spoke about honouring the heritage and principles of our founders. This lead to the formation of the Non-Racial Sport History Project (NRSHP).

With the transformation, the NRSHP is renaming the Bosmont Stadium and streets is one element of many that the BFA has embarked on since the dawn of democracy.

“We have honoured over 50 football legends, we are founding members of the NRSHP and we have published a 5000-word history of the BFA. As long as the BFA exists we will continue to honour our heritage,” said Michael Khan, the Deputy of BFA. On March 10, the BFA launched the renaming of the Bosmont Stadium and two streets in Bosmont.



The Bosmont Stadium will be changed to “Barney Gaffney Stadium” and Maroela Street will be renamed after Barney Gaffney, Griffith Road will be renamed after Reggie Feldman.

Khan said: “In 2009 – 2010 when we did our transformation with the University of Johannesburg and Paul Sing. One of the issues was how do we ensure that the legacy continues?

“Going down that road when we started honouring people, and we are so pleased here today that the first people that we get to honour are sitting here today. Barney Gaffney, Errol Beckett, Neil Beckett and so on.



“We honoured over fifty people since then but the most significant thing that the NRSHP has gone onto allowing us to say that you guys are our heritage and you were great players of your times. This is not recognised and that is why BFA and the NRSHP are taking up that fight.

“Those histories are going to be written. The two gentlemen are by no means the only ones but this is the beginning we hope will spark the attitude that we are responsible for honouring and maintaining our rich heritage.”

A representative of NRSHP, Corin Mathews explained what the streets names mean. “I think the two roads are so symbolic because all of us need to walk a road.


Chairman of the BFA, Isaac de Jongh.

“Ordinary people walk roads, whether we walk those roads as individuals and contemplate our lives or whether we walk those roads with groups and remember the days of how we walked from school or to soccer. I feel that this naming of roads is very critical for us.

“In Sociology, they have this term called ‘double alienation’ and this says that in the midst of oppression and exploitation, they don’t just exploit you but they make sure that they get rid of your name. If you get rid of the name, you get rid of the history and culture.

“We’ll confuse it if we think that the road comes to represent these two gentlemen because it’s just a metaphor that come to speak that it represents all of us. When we choose these name’s we are saying that it’s never about the individual but about community.


Attendees at the launch.

“When we walk those roads we must remember these great men who sacrificed and gave us principals. These principals are that the answer lays in us and not someone out there. The other is that we can give a value system that goes beyond money, status and prestige,” he said.

According to Khan, the renaming of the streets is a process and the launch was the start of this project. He explained that it entails completing many forms and they need to write a motivation, and then do a petition to get a substantial number of people from the surrounding community to agree. A presentation will then be made to the council, with the support of all and only then will it be approved.

“It is our hope that we are able to complete this by October this year,” said Khan.



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