Ex-Liverpool goal keeper Bruce Grobbelaar killed freedom fighters - Whisper Eye

Ex-Liverpool goal keeper Bruce Grobbelaar killed freedom fighters

Grobbelaar, 60, fought in the Rhodesian Bush War in the 1970s and says he still experiences “cold sweats” when reminded of his experiences.

Zimbabwean Grobbelaar made 440 appearances for the Reds and won 13 major titles during a 13-year spell.

“You’re not the same person once you have done it,” Grobbelaar said.

“You have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.”

Grobbelaar was conscripted into the army for an initial 11-month period and was immediately sent into the bush war , a country which later became Zimbabwe in 1980.

He worked as an enemy tracker and saw three friends die during the war, as well as being forced to kill himself.

“The memories have subsided somewhat, but there are times when you are with your mates back in Africa and they particularly like to speak about it. I don’t,” he says.

“After that, for about a two or three-week period, I do get cold sweats and wake up with those feelings again.”

Grobbelaar credits football with keeping him alive after his conscription ended, moving to Canada to join the Vancouver Whitecaps in 1979 before his switch to Liverpool two years later. He also played for Southampton and Plymouth.

“Over the years, I am very lucky that I didn’t submerge into a form of depression, because football saved my life really,” he says.

“Once I came out of the military, I had football to fall upon which took my mind off those incidents.”

 

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