Liverpool F.C. and South African footballers

Thursday, July 3 – 1952
Liverpool, pioneers in bringing South African footballers to this country, will have another Springbok on their staff next season. He is Hugh Gerhardi, a 19-year-old wing-half from Thistle F.C., of Durban, one of the leading sides in that part of South Africa.

Gerhardi has also had experience as a pivot, but Liverpool have signed him mainly on his ability and resource in the wing-half position. He was recommended to the club by Bill Butler, the former Bolton Wanderers player, and old friend of Manager Don Welsh, who is now coaching in South Africa.

Gerhardi is sailing for this country to-morrow week, and will be met at Southampton by the Liverpool manager.

During the past 25 years the Anfield club has had many star players who were born in South Africa. Arthur Riley and Gordon Hodgson were the first to come over. That was in 1925. Then followed – speaking from memory – Jimmy Gray, Lance Carr, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Dewar, Lock – who could play both at centre-forward and in goal – Dirk Kemp, Herman Van den Berg and Bob Priday.

Several of these old-timers excelled in other sports besides football. To mention only two, the late Gordon Hodgson, whose untimely death a year ago was such a shock, was a grand cricketer who joined the Lancashire county staff at Old Trafford, and Berry Nieuwenhuys, was a tip-top golfer, so good in fact that he had no difficulty in getting a professional appointment when he returned to his native land.

Gerhardi follows the same tradition, and is a fine all-round sportsman. Liverpool, however, are not so much concerned in his prowess in other directions. All they hope is that he turns out as useful an acquisition on the soccer field as the earlier South Africans they have had.
(Liverpool Echo, 03-07-1952)

Herman Van Den Berg, Liverpool F.C.


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