The Greatest Thrill of his Life - interview with Nivvy


The Greatest Thrill of his Life.

Staggered by Crowd; A Bouquet For Cresswell.

By the Pilot.

It was the greatest match in which I have ever had the honour to play. I shall never forget it as long as I live.” This was how Berry Nieuwenhuys, Liverpool's new South African, described his first match at Anfield –the Merseyside “Derby” game, to me after the match, in an exclusive interview. “Never before had I seen such a vast crowd, such brilliant football, or such clean football, and it was the thrill or my life when I managed to score the first goal. “The point which struck me most was the cleanliness of the game. When we were leaving for England we were told that the game here was rough and dirty. Well, I can assure you that this match was 100 per cent cleaner that anything I have seen in Africa. “It was a tribute to the players of both teams. I did not see one real foul in the entire ninety minutes.

“I confess I was rather staggered by the size of the crowd at the start but I did my best to forget they were there. That was hard in view of the continuous roar of voices. “Still you could play in front of a crowd like that for years. They are such sportsmen. I thank them for the encouragement they gave me and also for the wonderful reception I was accorded when I left the field. I don't mind confessing it touched me. “Just think. In South Africa we only get three of four thousand –we did have 25000 for a cup final – and then to find 55,000! But it was great! “I'm not yet satisfied with my form, but I am gradually settling down to the English methods of play and training. I find it is no easy thing to carry on for 90 minutes at top pace and must say that the second half always seem twice as long as the first. “Training however, will soon get me right and soon I shall no longer silently pray for the sound of the final whistle.

“A reception such as I received might easily 'turn one's head' but I don't think there is any danger of that. “I was once a rugby player and then when I turned over to soccer and joined Germiston I played in only four matches before being chosen for the Transvaal. I did so well in that game that I swanked a bit but our trainer gave me such a telling off that I broke down and cried. No more swollen heads for me! “The player in the “Derby” game who took my eye was Warney Cresswell. What a wonderful back he is. He has the ability to make you do what he wants you to do and not what you want to do yourself. I enjoyed my tussles with him and must say that he is a great player.”

Copyright - Evening Express - Transcribed by

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