Neil Tovey played professional football in South Africa for 20 years, holding the record for the most club appearances for the National Soccer League before it became the Premier Soccer League.The former Bafana Bafana captain, Neil Tovey is now SAFA’s (South African Football Association) technical director, SAB Castle League Ambassador and a Supersport football analyst.
In May 2018, he was honoured by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The National Order is the highest award the country bestows on people who have contributed to the advancement of democracy and have made a positive impact on the lives of South Africans. He said the award would motivate him to work even harder to improve the standard of South African football.
Neil was one of a few sports personalities to be conferred with the Order of Ikhamanga, which recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport. The others were Hashim Amla (cricket), Eric Risimati Baloyi (boxing), Elana Meyer (athletics) and John Smit (rugby).
Tovey, who suffered a heart attack in 2016, is the former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs captain.
The clubs he played for included Durban City, Amazulu and 10 years with Kaizer Chiefs.
Neil was the first captain when South Africa where re-admitted into international football in 1991. He went on to captain South Africa 29 times and has 52 international caps.
Since retiring from active football he has commenced a career in coaching which included terms at AmaZulu, Hellenic and Mamelodi Sundowns. He was joint coach at Mamelodi Sundowns when they won the 2005/6 League Title.
During the 2009/10 Premier League season, Neil coached Amazulu to 2 semi-finals and also to their first Cup-final in 18 years.
*He identifies 23 players between the age of 18 and 21 from the 30 000 that play in the 4th tier of South African football and coaches them the professional way in a 2 week camp to enable them to be identified by professional teams – which could change their lives forever.