Former Bush Bucks defender William Mugeyi has explained why he didn’t entertain any offers from the big teams in South Africa.
Mugeyi, the twin brother of Wilfred ‘Silver Fox’ Mugeyi, enjoyed a sterling career at Bucks after arriving from Zimbabwe in 1993.
“To be honest, why I turned down playing for big teams you know, one thing I realised is that most of these big teams during our time they were not paying good money,” Mugeyi told KickOff.com.
“I was happy with what I was earning at that time at my former team. So, you only find that most of the players are only playing for pride, because you are just playing for a big team. But financially you find most players were struggling.
“I only realised you know my team pays good, more than some of these so-called big teams during our days. So this is what prompted me to stay with Bush Bucks because financially I was quite happy.
“You’d find that some teams would want you and give an offer, only to find that the offer is just peanuts.
“When you tell them you know this is what I’m earning it was shocking to them to hear that my team Bush Bucks was paying huge salaries. So this is why I realised that it is just better for me to stay with Bush Bucks and make a name for myself.
“Ya I think in 1993 when I joined the team, I was earning probably something like R5 000 to R6 000 a month, and that was a lot of money, things were very cheap and life was easy. R200 could last you for the whole month. You could save and buy a car within three months.
“To be honest saving money was very easy. You know my lifestyle was very simple, I never drank, I never smoked, I never went out clubbing or enjoyed outside life and all those kind of things. Even though it was not big as what players are earning today.
“But you find today’s players can’t even buy a house. All they do is buy cars and fancy things and stuff like that. But when you look where he is, he is renting but earning a big salary.”
Mugeyi revealed he received a healthy wage when he started his football career in Zimbabwe at Circle United and Black Aces in Harare.
“The club was under a big, big company that produced cement probably for the whole country. So we were getting big salaries.
“In Zimbabwe you know during that time we were just young you know, 17-18, just coming from school. You wouldn’t even dream of driving a car that time. Cars used to be driven by teachers you know, and doctors.
“I only bought a car when I came to South Africa. I joined Bush Bucks in 1993, it was mid-season. At Bush Bucks we used to train very hard, we used to climb mountains, doing everything that is very strenuous. That is why we were very, very fit.
“The Independence Stadium used to be a slaughter house, because we knew that we can run until they get tired. Our fitness level was above most of the teams.”
The former Zimbabwe international opened up about why he always had a serious face during matches.
“You hardly see defenders smiling, there’s no time for smiling, what is it that you are smiling about? You have to wear a baboon face for strikers to be scared of you,” he reckoned.
The 51-year-old retired in 2005 at the age of 35 following advice he received from his bosses at Bush Bucks to go into coaching.
“I won the Coca-Cola Cup in 1993. In 1996 we won the Coca-Cola Cup again. In 2000 I won the Cosafa Cup as a captain (of the Warriors). Then I retired in 2005. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, I don’t have any regrets. All I wanted was just to play football and enjoy myself, which I did.
“I’m not married, I got divorced three years ago. I’ve got five kids, three girls and two boys. My first one she’s 29, and the second one is 27, the third one is 25, the fourth one is 20 and the fifth one is 15.
“I’m based in East London. The place is so quiet, peaceful, not so violent. Life is so simple in East London. I’m running a development. I named it after my name Mugeyi, where I have youngsters from 13 years up to 20. That’s what keeps me busy.
“I charge a small fee for development and that’s where I earn my living. I’m self-employed. So at least I know it puts food on the table. As a man you can’t just sit and fold your hands and wait for manna from heaven.” — KickOff