A morning with former Man U goalie

gary_baileyEnglish premier soccer league giants Manchester Uniteds staunch followers based in an African city such as Harare would give anything to watch his team play at Old Trafford or have dinner with the amazing goalkeeper, Edwin Van der Sar. (Pictured: Gary Bailey

But a morning with the former Red Devils goalkeeper, Gary Bailey, on Monday was a befitting substitute to such a dream for many Manchester United fans. Castle Lager hosted Bailey together with football administrators, media practitioners, club members and various football stakeholders for a workshop designed to uplift the face of local football.

Bailey, who is also a former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper and currently a football presenter on SuperSport, greatly admires the people of Zimbabwe. “It is amazing to find people who have gone through such hardships and can still smile. It is one thing I love about the people of Zimbabwe and I always tell people that Zimbabwe is one of the best countries to visit, the people here are resilient and very hospitable, he said.

His presentation on leadership, inspired by his former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, left many motivated to bring change not just in the game of football but in their lives. There is a need to be humble and refrain from talking all about yourself. Sir Alex is one man who is so humble. I remember an incident when they came back after winning the Champions League; I ran to him, praised and congratulated him but he just said No Gary this isnt about me, werent those players amazing last night?, Bailey recalled.

He also talked about appreciative inquiry as an awesome tool to a successful future as well as emotional intelligence as a vital characteristic of any modern day leader. Bailey made his debut for Manchester United at the age of 19 and established himself as a reliable goalkeeper in the late 1970s before a premature retirement that was caused by a cruel knee injury at 28. The South African-born star was one of the World Cup ambassadors that drove that countrys bid to stage the global football showcase.

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