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Old 12-01-2021, 10:02 PM
Oldest Palace Oldest Palace is offline
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Palace v Mamelodi Sundowns 1986/7?

I've had a request from a guy working in the South African film industry who's doing a documentary on one of their top teams, Mamelodi Sundowns.

He's asked about a friendly that the Sundowns are supposed to have played against Palace when the Sundowns owner paid for all the team and their girlfriends to come to London to watch the F.A. Cup Final in either 1986 or 1987.

There is nothing showing in newspaper archives of the time and nothing recorded in Ian King's list of official friendlies in either year; but their was a UN block on sporting links with South Africa at the time so it would probably not have been an official game.

Dos anyone have any knowledge or recollection of this game? The guy is particularly interested in who played for the Sundowns.

Any info or recollections would be helpful

Thanks
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Old 13-01-2021, 03:20 PM
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I have looked through my 'Croydon Advertiser' Palace pages in 1986 and 87 especially around May and can find no mention of the game. If and when played was not reported so sorry I do not have any details.
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Old 13-01-2021, 09:18 PM
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Palace did go to South Africa in 1992 I think, one of the first British clubs to tour South Africa (if not the first) after apartheid was abolished.

Possibly the Mamelodi Sunfowns game (if it was played) was a behind closed doors friendly, at our then Mitcham training ground.

Palace did have quite an exotic fixture around that era, flying out to Qatar to play their national side, which was quite unusual for the time.
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Old 14-01-2021, 10:19 AM
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Thanks CP and Tony,

I don't know any more details other than the guy in South Africa told me that, because of the UN ban on sporting links with South Africa, one of the coaches acted as referee and they used dustbins for goalposts! It sounds more like an informal kick about than even an unofficial friendly. The Sundowns visit to Britain definitely took place as it was mentioned in the South African press, two years later, when the Sundowns owner was convicted of bank fraud!

If I can find out more then I'll come back. If the 'match' happened there must still be players in South Africa alive, who recall it.
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Old 14-01-2021, 10:36 AM
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The trip to London was in May 1986.

The club had been taken over in 1985 by "Zola Mahobe who was dripping cash following the fraudulent escapades he mastered with his girlfriend, Snowy Moshoeshoe... [in 1986 he] sent tongues wagging when he took all Sundowns players and their partners to an all-expenses paid trip to the FA Cup Final in London."

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Old 15-01-2021, 04:03 PM
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Many thanks Ruskin. I've gone back to the guy in South Africa and asked what the source of his information is about a game with Palace as, so far, no reference has been found to it here. If I get any more info I'll post back.
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Old 15-01-2021, 04:22 PM
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It was not unheard of for Palace to play Training ground friendlies against overseas sides, they rarely involved any first teamers.

A couple that spring to mind: a China National XI in 1997 at Mitcham and a youth game against a young Slovakia side at Copers Cope in the 00's.

Occasionally they were picked up by the local press, but given the sensitivities here, I don't think it would have been Palace's interest to publicise it.

Be interested if anything more is discovered on this game.
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