It was a privilege to wake up in South Africa this morning on what is a very special day for the country, particularly at this time.
Mandela Day has been celebrated on the 18 July, Nelson Mandela’s birthday, since 2009 as a way of honouring and celebrating the former president’s legacy.
Having spoken to many members of the squad I know that they too felt it a great honour to be in South Africa on such a significant day and to be competing in the Nelson Mandela Invitational tournament.
As ‘Madiba’ marked his 95th birthday, the players wore Mandela 95 jerseys as they stepped on to the pitch at the very impressive Moses Mabhida Stadium to take on Durban’s AmaZula FC.
Some members of the squad had also recorded personal birthday messages which were played on the large screens at the ground before kick-off.
As expected, the fans created an excellent atmosphere at the stadium and on 67 minutes, a round of applause was held in recognition of the number of years Mr Mandela spent fighting for freedom.
Although the result didn’t go City’s way, the players fully embraced the post-match celebrations, showing their respect for Nelson Mandela on what was a truly memorable day.