Windhoek-The first time I saw Robbie in action was in the mid-90s, as a staunch supporter of the Brave Warriors at Windhoek’s Independence Stadium.
He used to run a couple of rounds on the athletics track just before the match getting the Namibian spectators in a supportive mood for the game. Yes, Robbie was only a little over 30 years old then and still going very strong!
I had the distinguished honour of working and interacting with Robbie Savage from 2003 to 2010 when he was the official mascot and No 1 supporter of Ramblers Football Club.
The brother quickly adopted our traditional battle cry of ‘Rammie Rammie Ramblers” and was certainly instrumental as our diehard and very vocal supporter in guiding and supporting specifically the Premier League side in a highly successful era, which culminated in winning the NFA Cup 2005, FNB Cup 2007, Xmas Cup in Swakopmund 2006, two runner-up finishes in the Premier League, and various other achievements.
Ramblers FC were a semi-professional outfit in those years and Robbie was on the payroll, receiving a monthly salary and full medical aid coverage.
What made Robbie so special? He was extremely passionate, loyal, uncompromising, dedicated and determined – so much so that he was very often close to a heart attack as he was operating on the side lines trying to push his beloved Rammies – or any other side for that matter – to victory!
Something that always saddened me to see was he was always mostly on his own, which did not really seem to bother him. Robbie was always friendly and courteous and despite his handicap, he had the wonderful ability of capturing the hearts of a lot of Namibians and was well known wherever he went. In fact, Robbie was famous both inside and outside the boundaries of his motherland!
Every year early in December, Robbie would come and see me at my office to collect his Xmas money with the words “Ek gaan nou see toe”.
We had the honour of hosting Robbie’s 40th birthday bash at the Ramblers Clubhouse on January 31, 2007 and this proved to be an unforgettable occasion.
I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends, including the entire Namibian sporting fraternity at large. One last, “Rammie Rammie Ramblers”.
Rest in peace, Robbie!
* Harald Hecht is the president of Ramblers Football Club.