Durban – Following the Sharks’ emphatic win over Western Province at the weekend, flyhalf Pat Lambie had one person in particular he wanted to thank for helping ensure the Currie Cup trophy returned to Durban.
It was the team’s kit manager, Michael Khumbuza.
Removing his match jersey after the game, Lambie wrote: “Thank you for all your help, you are a true champion”, on the black and white standard before handing it to a disbelieving Khumbuza.
Khumbuza had only moments earlier watched his team destroy the Capetonians from the sidelines at Newlands, and the touching tribute capped off his experience perfectly.
“I can’t explain the feeling,” said Khumbuza, laughing, when he spoke to The Mercury this week.
“The win was so exciting, especially because the Western Province fans had been booing us,” he said.
Khumbuza, who started working for the Sharks last November, is responsible for collecting, washing, and distributing the team’s kit, as well as assisting the players and coaches at practice.
“I am proud of my job, I love my job and I feel part of the team,” he said.
While one of Khumbuza’s dreams had been to watch the team win the Currie Cup, another desire was fulfilled on his trip to the Mother City.
“It was my first time travelling in an aeroplane,” he said.
“I told my brother I was going to be the first person from my family in an aeroplane,” he said, adding that he took pictures of himself in-flight to show everyone.
“I want to say thank you to John Smit, Brendan Venter (director of rugby), and Trevor Barnes (team manager) for making these dreams come true. They make me feel like an important part of the team and I have experienced a lot with them.”