PALAPYE: The legends of Botswana football and friends of Boyo ‘Oris’ Radipotsane will this weekend meet in Pilikwe to play a testimonial match to celebrate the icon’s 60th birthday and his contribution to local football.
The testimonial will be against a Palapye legends side at Pilikwe Ground on Saturday morning before the programme of the birthday celebration begins. The celebrations are pioneered by a group of Boyo’s friends and former teammates.
Four ministers; Dorcus Makgato, Nonofo Molefhi, Dikgang Makgalemele and Moiseraele Goya are expected to grace the occasion. Botswana Football Association’s top brass is expected to attend.
Legendary players in the likes of Thabo ‘Mahala’ Motang, China ‘Sparks’ Mading, Stanley Tshosane, Pro Mahube, Mmoloki ‘BB’ Sechele, Jojo Mogotsi, Luis Setshwane and Sexton Kowa amongst others will join Boyo to relive their playing days against the Palapye Legends.
Babedi Babedi of the organising committee said the event has surpassed their initial plan. “We wanted to thank Boyo for his input in football in the region, but we met other people who had other ideas for the celebrations. They also wanted to have an input to appreciate Boyo’s contribution to football and that is how this event cascaded into a mammoth celebration that will be held in Pilikwe,” Babedi said. Boyo, also known as Digger-Jazz, started his football journey as a youngster at Pilikwe Primary School before he joined the home team, Free Burgers in the early 1970s. He later moved to Serowe to further his studies at Serowe Brigade and joined Maphatshwa. After his studies he joined Palapye United in January 1978, and three months down the line he was snatched by Township Rollers.
At Rollers, he became what Steven Gerrard was at Liverpool and what Andreas Iniesta is at Barcelona, hence he earned the title ‘Mr Rollers’
His full time coaching career kicked off a year later. The following year, he left Rollers to coach Mahalapye United Hotspurs in the Super League. He also had stints at Extension Gunners, Maletamotse, Orapa Wanderers, Blue Diamonds, Gaborone Kicks and Jwaneng Comets amongst others. He is the first coach of Jwaneng Galaxy.
Boyo also coached the senior national team albeit briefly, as well as the Under-23, Under-20 and Under-17s. His Under-20 side is remembered for having the likes of Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele, Ofentse Nato, Kabelo Dambe and Mirror Simanyana amongst others.
Boyo currently holds England Football Association Level 3, which is equivalent to FIFA A-Licence and he also has a Diploma in Coaching from Brazil. The shrewd coach said he is humbled by the gesture from the nation.
“I am overwhelmed; it shows that the nation at large has noticed my input. I never really looked back at what I have been doing until now. I have done everything in football for the love of the game and this gesture gives me a pat on the back. I will continue serving football in the best way possible.”
The event is sponsored by a group of companies and individuals who include ProLube Marketing, Loadmaster, MetCoy, Matshego Mining, Minyamor Holdings, SEGGY, ZAC Construction, Masteka, Bajanala Social Club and the Jwaneng Galaxy executive committee amongst others.