Had young Steven Carr, not decided to leave his native land for the United Kingdom to explore the rest of the world, he could have easily played for the land of his birth at all youth levels including the senior national football team, the Brave Warriors, if his immerse football talent is anything to go by.
For sure, the name Steven Carr in football circles rings a bell and the author had the rare opportunity of meeting face to face with the real McCoy during a dinner at Glossop, in Greater Manchester during the Commonwealth Multi Sports Games in 2002.
The stocky fullback made a name for himself with Tottenham Hotspurs and in later years with Blackburn Rovers in England’s topflight football league.
Hold your horses before you get carried away - Namibia had her own footballer of note going by the same name Steven Carr, born and bred in the stinking rich diamond mining town of Oranjemund.
Sadly, bro Stevie never played football in his country of birth until very late when he returned home from his overseas excursions.
WINDHOEK – Upon the recommendation of his Portuguese friend, the late Tony Fiqueira, Stevie resurfaced at Ramblers Football Club where he was to play a pivotal role in securing the Pionierspark outfit’s smooth sailing march to the country’s newly formed national football league.
He arrived at Ramblers as an unknown midfield anchorman blessed with a big engine as can be attested by his tireless work rate. Born in Oranjemnund on 14 October 1962, Stevie only started playing competitive football at the revered Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.
“At the time, there was no high school in Oranjemund and most young scholars were obliged to further our academic aspirations in neigbouring South Africa. I went to Rondenbosch High in Cape Town and later the York High School in George.
“However, the game of football was taboo at that school leaving me with no other choice than to play rugby and cricket even tough I was always very passionate about football,” recalls Stevie.
In his own words, he only started playing competitive football during his time at the Rhodes University in Grahamstown. It was here where he befriended another South Wester (Namibian), the late Tony Figuera.
In no time, the football obsessed Stevie was playing for the University football team and spending a good chunk of time at home upon returning from campus during school holidays, Stevie never played competitive football on home soil.
Upon completing his studies at varsity – Stevie packed his bags and went to London, England in the United Kingdom just to explore life in a foreign country and to be exposed to different cultures.
“I was doing odd jobs mostly painting buildings and would occasionally kick a football around on Sundays but nothing really serious.”
After five years in the wilderness, the prodigal son returned home but would get stuck in the city of bright lights (Windhoek) in 1990. As fate would dictate, his homecoming coincided with the country’s gaining her long awaited much overdue democracy.
“It was a different setup seeing people from all walks of life mingling freely playing football together. What really caught my attention was the great camaraderie and atmosphere that prevailed in the Ramblers dressing room.
“When I arrived at Ramblers, there was this Capetonian guy going by the name of Robbie Grainger, as head coach. I must admit I was fascinated with the club’s ambitions.
“The squad had a good mixture of great footballers from different cultural diversity and it was great playing alongside guys such as Allan Gonsalves, Juku Tjazuko, Jorge da Purificacao, Butzie Schultz, Regard Wahl, Steven Leicher, Stakes Coetzee, Joseph Martin, Mario Carreira, Carsten Nebe, Andreas Bartsch and Peter Schwaertzer.
“To be honest, I felt refreshed because management had assembled quite a good team the following season. The arrival of exciting center back Tollie van Wyk, Donkey Madjiet, Nikita Hivei, Packs Ushona, Rudi Pahl and many other young footballers under the mentorship of multiple title winning coach Gary Sales strengthened the squad.”
The hard galloping midfielder played a big part when Ramblers swept their opponents aside to claim the coveted Premier league title in Independent Namibia at only their second attempt in 1992.
The hippy look alike midfielder was also at the forefront of Rammies’ astonishing journey to the final of the Metropolitan Knockout Cup against African Stars but unfortunately missed the final after he inured his calf in the semi final.
“It was a recurrence of an old niggling injury, which obviously obliged me to rethink any further involvement in competitive football. Anyway, I was getting a bit long in the tooth and it would not have been a realistic option to continue playing whilst jostling for a starting berth against much younger and fitter teammates.”
A divorcee, Stevie is father to a pair of beautiful siblings, elder daughter Maya, who now lives in Canada, Northern America and four year old son Atushe.