Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Friendship Rivalry Rekindled after 30 years

Chris Dimmer and Johan van Nieuwenhuizen

Ernest Modise in action
At the recent New Years Tournament 2017, hosted by the Johannesburg TFC a friendly rivalry dating back almost 60 years was rekindled. Best friends for over 60 years, Johan van Nieuwenhuizen and Chris Dimmer played their first competitive Subbuteo game in over 30 years when they flicked off against each other. Although a disappointing turnout of only 4 players competed for the annual trophy, the OLD DERBY' was unmostdoubtedly the highlight of the afternoons games. Nostalgia was in abundance when Johan and Chris flicked off against each other with the latter defeating his best friend by the odd goal converted from a great through ball and chipped delicately over Johan's goalkeeper. Both friends remember their last competitive game against each other in 1987. Johan and Chris' friendship and Subbuteo began way back in 1957, which must be a record with both players ending the day with broad smiles and promises of returning for future tournaments. The field of four players competed in a round robin stage with Clifford and Chris occupying the top 2 positions along with Johan and Ernest the remaining positions.
Part of Johan’s celluloid collection
In the play-off games, Johan accounted for Ernest with the winning goal scored on the stroke of full-time. The Final saw perennial favourite, Clifford and Chris Dimmer play for the title. Bearing in mind that this was Chris' first few games in over 30 years his play with the new flatter base figures was remarkable and proves that you never forget how to play this beautiful game. Clifford was the victor in the final, however the cementing of their Subbuteo friendship between Johan and Chris was the cornerstone of the tournament and proved to be rather special and brought a tear to the eye as they reminisced about their previous epic encounters and friends they have lost who also loved this special game of ours.

(Report by Clifford Graaff)

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