Bobby Chalmers

by Rod Smith

My nephew sent me a whatsapp message in the middle of the night this weekend to tell me Bobby Chalmers died. 

Jenny, my sister and I, here in the USA, knew it was coming.

For the last decade or so Jenny, through mutual friends, has built a deep friendship and so she was getting daily updates on Bobby’s condition.

I “knew” him as a soccer star, from the grandstand of Kingsmead. 

Even now, I could tell you the details of some of the finest goals I have ever seen and most of them involved Bobby. 

Long before I met Bobby through my sister, I knew I’d be in Durban for a week or two and I’d be delivering public lectures and so I published a column challenging two of my soccer heroes to attend.

I asked Bobby Chalmers and Durban City goal keeper George Wooten to extend grace to me and show up for a lunch meeting at The Durban Country Club.

They did.

They arrived together and honored my request.

This was a very powerful moment for me as a man and as a writer. Two of my many heroes were showing up for me because I asked them to.

Thank you, Bobby, you gave hundreds of thousands of soccer fans tremendous joy for many years and may you now know incredible Peace.

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