Peter Ndlovu

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Peter Ndlovu
Personal information
Full name Peter Ndlovu[1]
Date of birth (1973-02-25) 25 February 1973 (age 47)[1]
Place of birth Bulawayo,[1] Zimbabwe
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)[2]
Position(s) Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1990 Highlanders
1991–1997 Coventry City 176 (39)
1997–2001 Birmingham City 106 (23)
2000–2001Huddersfield Town (loan) 6 (4)
2001–2004 Sheffield United 135 (25)
2004–2008 Mamelodi Sundowns 81 (20)
2008–2009 Thanda Royal Zulu
2010 Highfield United
2011 Black Mambas
Total 504 (111)
National team
1990–2007 Zimbabwe 81 (37)
Teams managed
2011–2013 Zimbabwe (assistant manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Peter Ndlovu (born 25 February 1973) is a Zimbabwean former professional footballer and is currently the Team Manager at Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. a Premier Soccer League club in South Africa.[3]

Peter Ndlovu originally comes from Binga district in North Western, Siabuwa Zimbabwe. He was however born in Bulawayo, and played professionally as a striker from 1988 until 2011. He played for Highlanders in Zimbabwe, for Coventry City in the Premier League and in the Football League for Birmingham City, Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United. In South Africa he played for Mamelodi Sundowns, Thanda Royal Zulu, Highfield United and Black Mambas. He was capped 81 times for his country, scoring 37 goals.[4]

Club career[edit]

Coventry City[edit]

Ndlovu was originally spotted by John Sillett, prior to his official signing from Highlanders by Terry Butcher in July 1991. He made an immediate impact by scoring away at Arsenal and then became the toast of Highfield Road with a thunderbolt winner against Aston Villa in November 1991, endearing him to the Sky Blues fans.[5]

Although he would go on to play a major role at several clubs in the Championship, it is his time at Coventry he is particularly known for given the club's top flight status at that time. He would play a significant role in two major teams, Bobby Gould's attacking team of 1992/93 and the expansive squad of the mid and late 1990s, during which time Ron Atkinson and then Gordon Strachan managed the club. Bobby Gould's team in 1992–93 are widely regarded as under-achievers, finishing 15th in the first Premier League season, having spent much of the season in considerably higher positions.

On 19 August 1992, Ndlovu made history by being the first African footballer to play in the new English Premier League. Having acquired striker Micky Quinn in November 1992 they continued what had already been a blistering start, with away wins at Tottenham Hotspur (2–0) Sheffield Wednesday (2–1) and Wimbledon (2–1) to add to already impressive home wins against Middlesbrough (2–1). By the early autumn the Sky Blues briefly topped the inaugural Premier League and would only lose five league games prior to Christmas. The addition of Micky Quinn to the squad led to further outstanding home wins against Aston Villa (3–0) and Liverpool (5–1). In February 1993, they won 4-2 against title chasing, big spending Blackburn Rovers. However, a barren final few weeks of the season and a run in that would see back to back games against Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Leeds United saw them slip from fifth in the league in February to 15th in the final table. The season finished with a thrilling performance from Ndlovu in a 3–3 draw against Leeds United. Ndlovu was a key component throughout the season in Gould's fast pacey front line which included John Williams, Kevin Gallacher (until his departure to Blackburn) and Robert Rosario, who formed a worthy partnership with Micky Quinn. Ndlovu's goal against Norwich City, in a 1–1 draw in late September, was a signature piece of Ndlovu flair which earned him the Match of Day 'Goal of the month' competition.[5]

The 1993–94 season would see a managerial shift in the autumn as Gould resigned and was succeeded by his assistant Phil Neal - but not before the legendary curtain raiser to the second Premier League season. Bobby Gould's first day gamble would be to play without traditional full backs. This novel formation gave Ndlovu full licence to play a large part in a memorable opening day triumph in the capital. The 3–0 victory at Highbury over Arsenal saw Micky Quinn score a hat-trick in front of the newly refurbished North Bank. It also ensured that the Sky Blues made one of their customary lightning starts to the season, so synonymous of this era. After an early Ian Wright threat on the Coventry goal, it was Ndlovu who made a darting run into the Arsenal penalty box which produced a clumsy challenge from Lee Dixon. The resulting penalty was calmly converted by Micky Quinn for the opener. The second half would see Ndlovu and Roy Wegerle lead the Gunners defence a merry dance, Wegerle in particular enjoying possibly his finest game for the club. So shocked were Arsenal by the 3–0 defeat that manager George Graham cancelled the proposed post-match lap of honour at the final whistle, which was to parade their League Cup and FA Cup silverware. The explanation given by Arsenal was 'Reasons beyond the club's control!'. It is reported that Coventry rejected a £4million offer from Arsenal for Ndlovu during the 1993-94 season - a deal which would have made Ndlovu the most expensive player signed by an English club. The dramatic resignation of Bobby Gould, after a 5–1 mauling at Loftus Road in October 1993, was reputedly inspired by the possible imminent sale of Ndlovu to a top six club.

However, Ndlovu stayed but the 11th-place finish secured that season was not repeated in the 1994–95 campaign. Phil Neal was replaced by Ron Atkinson in February. Big Ron was credited with saving the club from relegation in the spring of 1995, and brought in Gordon Strachan as his assistant. This second significant phase for Ndlovu would once again promise much - the 'new era' of big money signings heralded by Atkinson's appointment saw the arrival of Huckerby, Whelan, Salako and McAllister together with Neal's £2million signing Dion Dublin. Big Ron provided vital impetus early on, but the following season his stylish and classy team sheet rarely 'clicked' in the traditional sense. However, Ndlovu still scored some memorable goals for the Sky Blues during this period, including the first away player to secure a hat-trick at Anfield for 30 years. Other memorable goals in Sky Blue included a vital winning goal away at Wimbledon in a relegation six-pointer and a dynamic last minute rifling winner in a 3rd Round FA Cup tie at West Bromwich Albion.[5]

Ndlovu gradually suffered due to inconsistency. The large and expansive side Gordon Strachan inherited, well equipped with attacking options, saw fierce competition for places from Whelan, Huckerby, Salako and Telfer. An increasingly cosmopolitan Premier league too would eventually see Coventry turn to Steve Froggatt and Moroccan internationals Mustapha Hadji and Youssef Chippo in the years following Ndlovu's departure. He was known as 'Nuddy' by Coventry City fans[6] and his other nicknames being 'The Bulawayo Bullet'[7] and 'Nsukuzonke'[8] an isiNdebele word referring to his ability to turn on the style everytime/day he played.

Birmingham City[edit]

Ndlovu eventually moved to Birmingham City in July 1997, signed by Trevor Francis for a fee of £1.6m. Ndlovu is generally considered a success by Blues fans, despite failing to reach the Premiership whilst "Nuddy" was in their ranks. Ndlovu's old-school wing play helped propel the Blues to two successive play-off appearances in Nationwide Division One, though both appearances would ultimately end in semi-final defeats. He spent time on loan at Huddersfield Town in December 2000, where he scored twice on his debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers.[9] Upon returning to Birmingham he helped them beat Ipswich Town in the semi-final of the 2000-01 League Cup.[10][11] However, before the final he was released to join Sheffield United in February 2001.[12]

Sheffield United[edit]

Ndlovu also enjoyed success at Sheffield United and was known to their fans as 'Nuddy'. With him playing on the right side of midfield, United managed to get to two semi-finals of major cup competitions, in addition to the final of the Championship (formerly Division 1) play-offs in the 2002–03 season.

He scored the winning goal against Leeds United in the 2002 Worthington Cup competition and scored a hat-trick against Cardiff City in 2003–04. He left the Blades in the summer of 2004 having scored 25 goals in 135 league games. In all, Ndlovu scored more than 90 goals during his 12 seasons and 338 appearances in the top two flights of the English football league.

In South Africa[edit]

Ndlovu signed for South African Premier Soccer League outfit Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2004 off-season. Thanda Royal Zulu made one of their major signings before transfer window closed on the day by bringing former Mamelodi Sundowns striker Ndlovu on board. Ndlovu was released from his contract by Thanda Royal Zulu at the end of 2008–09 after they were relegated from South Africa's top division. He stayed for two years without playing football.

International career[edit]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Zimbabwe's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Zimbabwe goal.[4]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 25 August 1990 Botswana National Stadium, Gaborone, Botswana  Zambia 1–3 1–3 1990 SADCC Tournament
2 26 August 1990  Botswana 7–0 7–0
3 16 August 1992 Rufaro Stadium, Harare, Zimbabwe  South Africa 3–1 4–1 1994 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
4 4–1
5 20 December 1992 National Sports Stadium, Harare, Zimbabwe  Egypt 1–0 2–1 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 31 January 1993  Angola 2–1 2–1
7 13 November 1994  Zaire 2–1 2–1 1996 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
8 23 April 1995  Malawi 1–0 1–1
9 19 April 1998  Namibia 4–1 5–2 1998 COSAFA Cup
10 24 May 1998 Estádio da Machava, Maputo, Mozambique  Mozambique 1–0 2–0
11 31 July 1999 National Sports Stadium, Harare, Zimbabwe  Senegal 1–0 2–1 2000 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
12 9 April 2000 Barthélemy Boganda Stadium, Bangui, Central African Republic  Central African Republic 1–0 1–0 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
13 23 April 2000 National Sports Stadium, Harare, Zimbabwe 2–0 3–1
14 15 July 2000 Barbourfields Stadium, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe  Seychelles 5–0 5–0 2002 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
15 3 September 2000 National Sports Stadium, Harare, Zimbabwe  DR Congo 2–0 3–2
16 24 February 2001 Stade Municipal, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso  Burkina Faso 1–0 2–1 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
17 2–0
18 24 March 2001 Setsoto Stadium, Maseru, Lesotho  Lesotho 1–0 1–0 2002 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
19 5 May 2001 FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa  South Africa 1–2 1–2 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
20 12 October 2002 Cicero Stadium, Asmara, Eritrea  Eritrea 1–0 1–0 2004 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
21 30 March 2003 National Sports Stadium, Harare, Zimbabwe  Seychelles 1–0 3–1
22 3–1
23 5 July 2003  Eritrea 1–0 2–0
24 2–0
25 31 August 2003 Barbourfields Stadium, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe  Eswatini 1–0 2–0 2003 COSAFA Cup
26 2–0
27 5 October 2003 National Sports Stadium, Harare, Zimbabwe  Malawi 2–0 2–0
28 12 October 2003  Mauritania 3–0 3–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
29 25 January 2004 Stade Taïeb Mhiri, Sfax, Tunisia  Egypt 1–0 1–2 2004 Africa Cup of Nations
30 29 January 2004  Cameroon 1–0 3–5
31 2–3
32 27 June 2004 Somhlolo National Stadium, Lobamba, Swaziland  Eswatini 2–0 5–0 2004 COSAFA Cup
33 4–0
34 5–0
35 3 July 2004 Amahoro Stadium, Kigali, Rwanda  Rwanda 1–0 2–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
36 5 June 2005 National Sports Stadium, Harare, Zimbabwe  Gabon 1–0 1–0
37 19 June 2005 Ahmed Zabana Stadium, Oran, Algeria  Algeria 2–2 2–2

Coaching career[edit]

In 2011, Ndlovu became the assistant manager of the Zimbabwe national football team.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Peter's brothers, Adam and Madinda, were also international players. The brothers played on the streets of Makokoba, Zimbabwe, where they grew up. Peter also played in both his primary (Lotshe Primary) and secondary (Mzilikazi) schools and his hometown team Highlanders before joining Coventry in 1991.

His surname is commonly mispronounced by British commentators and, as a result, fans as well. Throughout his career, he was referred to as 'Und-luv', when in fact, the pronunciation of his surname is closer to 'Nd-lo-vu'.[14]

Ndlovu was left in a "critical" condition in hospital after a car crash near the Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe on 16 December 2012.[15] Ndlovu's BMW X5 had suffered a tyre blow out which caused it to come off the road and hit a tree. He suffered internal injuries, head injuries, broken ribs and a broken leg and his brother Adam and a female passenger were killed.[16] Ndlovu subsequently faced trial the following March for culpable homicide, with the prosecution claiming he was responsible for failing to control his car properly.[17] He was acquitted in April 2013, with the court citing a lack of evidence to prove Ndlovu's responsibility.[18]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Brown, Jim (2000). Coventry City: The Elite Era. Desert Island Books. ISBN 978-1-874287-36-0.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Peter Ndlovu". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  2. ^ Rollin, Glenda, ed. (1998). Playfair Football Annual 1998–99. Headline. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-7472-5917-6.
  3. ^ Lovemore, Moyo (29 July 2013). "Mamelodi Sundowns have appointed Peter Ndlovu as team manager". Kickoff. Kickoff. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Peter Ndlovu". RSSSF.
  5. ^ a b c Jim Brown (2000) Coventry City: The Elite Era. Desert Island Books.
  6. ^ Robson, Sharuko (17 December 2012). "World reacts with shock to Ndlovu tragedy". Nehanda Radio. Nehanda Radio. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Copa Coca-Cola roars into life". Newsday. Alpha Media Holdings. 19 July 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  8. ^ Admin (29 December 2012). "Peter Ndlovu discharged from hospital". Nehanda Radio. Nehanda Radio. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Huddersfield 3-0 Wolves". BBC. 9 December 2000. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Stewart gives Ipswich edge". BBC. 9 January 2001. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Birmingham storm into final". BBC. 31 January 2001. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Woodhouse snapped up by Blues". BBC. 2 February 2001. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Peter Ndlovu: The first ever African footballer in the Premier League". 26 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Peter Ndlovu". Hear Names. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  15. ^ Ncube, Gladys (16 December 2012). "Adam Ndlovu died after vehicle veered of the road". The Zimbabwean. Archived from the original on 16 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  16. ^ "Peter Ndlovu seriously injured in car crash which kills brother". BBC Sport. 16 December 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  17. ^ Vickers, Steve (21 February 2013). "Peter Ndlovu to face trial over fatal Zimbabwe car accident". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  18. ^ Vickers, Steve (12 April 2013). "Peter Ndlovu acquitted of culpable homicide in crash trial". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 August 2020.

External links[edit]