Peta Bala'c

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Peta Bala'c
Personal information
Full name Peta John Bala'c
Date of birth (1953-12-09) 9 December 1953 (age 63)
Place of birth Exeter, England
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper, Midfielder
Youth career
1960–1963 Exeter City
1963–1972 Plymouth Argyle
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1971–1974 Plymouth Argyle 40 (0)
1973 Hereford United (loan) 2 (0)
1973–1974 Swansea City (loan) 4 (0)
1974–1976 Durban City 84 (0)
1977–1978 Durban United 28 (0)
1979 Lusitano 34 (0)
1980 Sacramento Gold (loan) 27 (0)
1980 Sporting Lisbon 15 (0)
1981–1986 Kaizer Chiefs 170 (0)
1986–? Torrington F.C.
Shell Swan
Chester Nomad Sixths
Total 404 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Peta Bala'c (born 9 December 1953 in Exeter, England) was an English soccer goalkeeper for most notably Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa.

Plymouth Argyle[edit]

Bala'c played at the Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle youth academies. He graduated to the reserve team after his performances in the 1969 FA Youth Cup especially in a first round win over Torquay United.[1] He made his professional debut on 8 January 1972 in a 4–0 win over York City starting the match for an ill Jim Furnell. He became a regular for over a year before Furnell returned. He played his last match on 4 November 1972 in a 7–1 loss to Oldham Athletic.[2]Bala'c is described as a keeper who was quite acrobatic but was held back by his height.[3] Bala'c played in the second half in a friendly match against Santos on 14 March 1973 where he only conceded a penalty from Pele which was a consolation goal for Santos. Even before it was taken the Santos players started walking to the centre line awaiting kick off because they knew he wouldn't miss. Santos lost 3–1. The Santos squad had the likes of Edu, Carlos Alberto and Clodoaldo who all won the 1970 FIFA World Cup with Brazil.[4] He got a call-up to the England youth team. He left after a fall out with new manager Tony Waiters.[5] In June 2012, He was nominated as one of Argyle's Greatest Goalkeepers along Pat Dunne, Jim Furnell, Melia Aleksic, Peta Balac, Barron Crudgington and Rhys Wilmot.[6]

Durban United[edit]

He played with England heroes such as Johnny Haynes, Alan Ball and George Best in Durban.[5]


He lost his place to Bruce Grobbelaar who he had been friends with during his spell at Liverpool. He described Eusébio's presence as a highlight of his career.[5]

America and Portugal[edit]

He had brief spells with Sacramento Gold and Sporting Lisbon winning the ASL Championship in 1980 under coach Bill Williams with fellow countrymen Ian Filby, Bobby Arber and Gordon Fearnley.[5][7]

Kaizer Chiefs[edit]

He was persuaded by Tony Waiters to go to South Africa. He joined Chiefs in the famous 1981 quadruple winning season and won thirteen trophies in five years not losing a single cup final and set an unofficial world record of 21 consecutive clean sheets. The record was unofficial because South Africa had not been admitted to FIFA until 1992. He is infamously remembered for conceding a free-kick from the halfway line from Mlungisi Ngubane in 1984.[8][2]

Later career[edit]

He came back to play in the Devon South Western League under Johnny Hore in 1986 and played as a midfielder for Shell Swan and Chester Nomad Sixths in Division Two and the Chester Sunday League until retiring in his fifties. He converted to midfielder after being inspired by Kaizer Chiefs' one touch play.[2]

After retirement[edit]

He lives near Chester with his wife. He currently works with pharmaceuticals and corporate hospitality. He also opened his own restaurant. He also owns a fitness club.[9] He played Plymouth Argyle Legends match against BBC XI and Liverpool at Dean Cross Plymstock in aid of the Chestnut Appeal for prostate cancer in Devon & Cornwall.[10] Balac also played cricket for Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club and Newbury Cricket Club as a fielder until the age of 60, playing 24 league games between 2010 and 2013 making 12 catches.[11]