Born and bred in the famous Mamelodi township, the stocky Daniel ‘Mambush’ Mudau spent his entire topflight career at one club – one he still serves even today.
During his heyday, Mudau was as a fearless striker for Mamelodi Sundowns and the national team Bafana Bafana, and the fact that he remains the club’s all-time record goalscorer is evidence of his prowess.
No one has rattled the net more than ‘Mambush’ with his 110 goals for the Brazilians and helped them to three league titles in the Premier Soccer League era under the late Ted Dumitru (two championships) and Frenchman Paul Dolezar.
It’s a conversion rate that has allowed him to remain one of only five players in PSL history to score a 100 goals or more, alongside the likes of Siyabonga Nomvethe, Mabhuti Khenyeza Manuel ‘Tico-Tico’ Bucuane and Collins Mbesuma. But most significantly, Mudau was the first player to reach that milestone (add the years before the PSL era in 1996, he scored more).
‘Mambush’ quite literally led from the front as a captain who was not only vocal on the pitch, but let his feet do the talking, too.
He joined Sundowns from Ratanang Maholosiane in 1992 and would spend the next decade with the Chloorkop outfit.
Today, ‘Mambush’ serves the club as the supporters’ coordination manger – and if he came out of retirement, aged 51, there’s no doubt he would be a crowd favourite.
With a football career as long as his, playing at the highest level in South Africa, Mudau definitely has a long list of memorable moments.
The 16 international caps under his belt for Bafana might have been a little fewer than what he would have wished for, but Mudau was part of Clive Barker’s Africa Cup of Nations winning squad in 1996 on home soil – an achievement he won’t ever forget, and one that still marks that group of players as SA’s golden generation.
Football is now an era were midfielders can play as strikers and attacking positions are almost interchangeable, but ‘Mambush’ was the kind of fox-in-box that any PSL coach today would break the bank to have lead their line.