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Mr Neil Robert Tovey

The Order of Ikhamanga in

Mr Neil Robert Tovey Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to South African football. His passion for the sport put South Africa on the world map when he captained the national team to winning the Africa Cup of Nations.
Profile of Mr Neil Robert Tovey

Mr Neil Robert Tovey was born in July 1962 in Pretoria. He is a renowned soccer player and a coach. He holds the record for most appearances in the National Soccer League (NSL). He made his professional debut for Durban City in 1981 and won the 1982 and 1983 NPSL titles under Clive Barker and played 176 league games.

Tovey led Bafana Bafana to their only AFCON title in 1996, which was a triumph that thrilled the nation and advanced social cohesion.

Enroute to registering the most appearances in the NSL, he played 174 times for Durban City, 117 times for AmaZulu and 341 times for Kaizer Chiefs. Tovey captained South Africa in the 1996 AFCON victory. He has played 52 international games and captained South Africa 29 times. Domestically, he played no fewer than 634 times (the most by any footballer in the PSL) during his 20-year career.

Tovey spent 10 years of his soccer career at Kaizer Chiefs and retired at the club. He also played for the likes of AmaZulu (five years) and Durban City (five years). After retiring from play, he remained within football structures and passed his UEFA A Licence with the highest marks produced by the course. Tovey’s successes as coach include winning the Rothmans Cup (three times), Castle League (two times), Telkom Charity Cup and COSAFA Cup (women’s national team). Tovey has coached teams to the level of Bob Save Super Bowl Finalist, MTN 8 Semi-finalist and Nedbank Cup Finalist.

Additional achievements include assisting Sundowns qualify for the African Champions League, saving Hellenic FC from relegation and coaching the National Women’s Under-20 team for qualification into the 2002 World Youth Championships.

Tovey has played 174 times for Durban City, 117 times for AmaZulu and 341 times for Kaizer Chiefs. Currently, he is a SAFA technical director, where he is mandated to improve and streamline the referees’ training programme, in addition to the youth programme and women football development, among others.