"The Wall" is no more.
Known as "The Wall" for his indestructible ability as a soccer central defender, National Football League (NFL) and South African soccer icon, Stan Jacobitz, died earlier this week in England where he had been living in recent years.
Jacobitz, who played for the legendary Highlands Park team that dominated South African soccer in the 1960s, was 81-years-old and had been ill for several years and on dialysis treatment.
Such was his ruthless aerial strength in defence that it was rumoured, rightly or wrongly, that he polished his heading ability against a brick wall at training sessions.
"Had South Africa not been banned from international soccer in the 1960s," said Martin Cohen, another Highlands Park stalwart in the old NFL, "Stan would have been an automatic choice for any national team.
"He formed with goalkeeper George Ryder, Malcolm Rufus and Scot John Stewart a formidable defence," added Cohen, a star in the succeeding Highland generation, "and who will forget the cosmopolitan side that also included UK players Charlie Gough, Joe Frickleton, Bobby Hume, Willie Mcintosh, the powerhouse Freddie Kalk and the brilliant Brazilan duo of Jorge Santoro and Walter da Silva."
A feature of Jacobitz's career was the herculean battles he had with Durban City's lethal goalscorer, Les Salton, in the much-followed Highlands-City derbies, the equivalent at the time of Kaizer Chiefs-Orlando Pirates matches, that are still recalled with nostalgia to this day.