Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Shane MacGregor celebrated his 59th birthday on December 5.
He was a player who certainly made his mark on the domestic game and came good after a difficult start at Naturena. He held various records at different stages of his career, some that still remain today, and in order to mark his special day, here are 10 things you might not know about forward.
1. It was MacGregor’s goals that led Johannesburg-based Rangers to the NSL title in 1986 as he bagged a brace in the 4-0 win over AmaZulu that clinched a maiden championship for the team. The then 23-year-old netted 27 goals in 39 games in all that campaign, having joined the club in 1984.
2. MacGregor scored four Soweto Derby goals for Chiefs, his first in a 2-0 league win in 1988. That was also his first ever goal for the club and came a few months after signing, with fans questioning his transfer at the time. He grabbed two more in a 3-0 success in 1991. He also netted the winner for Chiefs in a 2-1 BP Top Eight quarterfinal victory that same year.
3. MacGregor was top scorer in the league in 1988 with 19 goals for Rangers and Chiefs, his prize being a cool R2 000. In all he scored 20+ goals in a season four times in his career – 1986, 1987, 1991 and 1992. Not many modern-day strikers can say the same.
4. MacGregor’s 78 goals for Chiefs is second only to Marks Maponyane (85) for the club in the NSL/PSL era. His partnership with Fani Madida in the 1991 season is still revered today as they blasted 58 goals between them (MacGregor scoring 24) as Chiefs won the ‘Treble’. It is possibly the greatest forward combination the domestic game has seen.
5. At one stage MacGregor was the all-time leading scorer in the National Soccer League and Premier Soccer League eras with 169 goals for his various clubs, though that mark was later eclipsed by Daniel Mudau, who netted 181 for Ratanang Maholosiane and, mostly, Mamelodi Sundowns.
6. For all his domestic success, MacGregor only played 52 minutes for Bafana Bafana, all coming in a single appearance. That was against Zimbabwe in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in August 1992 shortly after readmission. Bafana were thumped 4-1 in Harare and MacGregor was replaced shortly after halftime by Maponyane.
7. MacGregor’s effectiveness was seriously hampered by a 1993 knee injury, though he did continue playing for several years after that, making a final career appearance as a substitute for SuperSport United against Umtata Bush Bucks in a 0-0 draw on August 1, 1998.
8. Many know that MacGregor later became a coach with Pretoria City/SuperSport, but few might remember he was also briefly in charge of Mamelodi Sundowns. He took over for the final five games of the 2001/02 season following the departure of Ted Dumitru and went unbeaten with two wins and three draws. That included a 1-1 stalemate with former side Chiefs. That same season he had also been one of five coaches used at Ria Stars!
9. He once also scored two cup final goals … as a coach! He was still a player when handed the reins of Pretoria City in the 1996/97 season and led them to the Bob Save Super Bowl final against Cape Town Spurs. He scored twice in the game, but Spurs ultimately triumphed 3-2 thanks to an 89th-minute winner from Shaun Bartlett. MacGregor also scored in the final of the same competition for Chiefs in 1992 when they beat Jomo Cosmos 2-1.
10. Early in his career MacGregor had a trial with Belgian side Anderlecht but he could not win a contract and in the end never played abroad. Perhaps he might have had he not been already almost 30 when South Africa were readmitted to international football.
By Nick Said, via MTN FC