Former Warriors and Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar says he has to visit Zimbabwe on a mission to find inner peace before he dies.
Grobbelaar made the revelations as he explained the experiences from Zimbabwe’s war of independence in the 1970s which is still haunting him. The 63-year old had to put his early football career on hold to fight for the Rhodesian force against the black majority as part of the national service.
Grobbelaar says he doesn’t know how many people he shot and killed in Zimbabwe’s brutal war of independence.
Following the release of his book Life in a Jungle, he’s revealed the chilling details of the war. When asked about the first time he killed someone, he said: “My first time was at dusk.
“As the sun sinks you’re seeing shadows in the bush. You cannot recognise much until you see the whites of their eyes. It’s you or them. You shoot, you drop and there’s overwhelming gunfire.
“You hear voices on your side: ‘Hey, corporal, I’m hit.’ You whistle to shut them up otherwise we’re all getting killed.
“When the firefight is finished you see bodies everywhere. The first time everything in your stomach comes up through your mouth.”
As for how many people he killed, he admits: “I couldn’t tell you.
“Yes (it was many). This is why I’ve always lived my life for today. I can only say sorry for the past. I can’t change it.
After serving in the army for eleven months, he moved to Canada to join Vancouver Whitecaps in 1979 before signing for the Reds in 1981 where he made 628 appearances over thirteen years.
In an interview with the Liverpool Echo newspaper, the ex-goalkeeper revealed:
“Sometimes I wake up in sweats with images of what happened in the war days.
“Those will go once I go back to the places where these things happened. Going to relive where it happened will soften it, and I will put it to rest.
“It’s the African way that it’s done, but it is what I need to do. I have got two places to go and then it will soften it for me.
“I need to do it before I kick the bucket! I am allowed into Zimbabwe now, so…”
Grobbelaar was forced into exile by the previous government led by late president Robert Mugabe.
He returned to the country for the first time in eleven years in 2018.
Video Credit: Nick Downie ~ Rhodesian Bush War 1978