Matthew Paul Booth is a former South Africa professional footballer. His playing position was as a defender. South African football fans would chant “Booooooooth” when he touched the ball while internationally he was known as “The White Knight” as he was the only white player for the Bafana Bafana at the time.
Booth was born in Fish Hoek, Cape Town. He started playing football for Fish Hoek AFC in 1982 at the age of 5. In 1993 he was spotted by Cape Town Spurs coach Richard Gomes and invited him to train with the clubs youth side. A year later he was training with the senior team. His height is listed as 1.99 meters (6 ft 6 in) and you can imagine how he towered above other players.
He was at Cape Town Spurs till 1998 making 92 appearances and scoring 5 goals. In 1999 Cape Town Spurs and Seven Stars were merged to form Ajax Cape Town. It is reported that they wanted to sell him to a newly formed team but he eventually joined Mamelodi Sundowns in 1998.
He stayed at Sundowns for 3 seasons making 114 appearances and scoring 6 goals. In 2001 Sundowns loaned him to English team Wimbledon FC.
In 2002 he made a move to Russia joining FC Rostov till 2004. He made 51 appearances and scored 1 goal during that time.
In 2004 he joined another Russian team FC Krylia Sovetov Samara making 107 appearances and scoring 7 goals for the club.
In 2009 he returned to South Africa after Mamelodi Sundowns signed him again. He was at Sundowns till the 2011 making 38 appearances for club the second time around.
In 2011 he join Ajax Cape Town and you can say this is where it all begun for him as a professional footballer. Well before the merger anyways. He made 40 appearances and scored 5 goals for the club.
In 2013 to 2014 he made a move to Bidvest Wits where he made 19 appearances and scored 1 goal.
He made appearances for South Africa under 20 and the under 23 sides from 1995 to 2000. In 1999 he made his South Africa (Bafana Bafana) side on the 20th February against Botswana at the Cosafa Castle Cup. He has 37 caps for the country and 1 goal to his name against Malawi.
He was also a member of the 2010 FIFA World cup squad but remained as an unused substitute for all the 3 group stage matches. Interesting statistic South Africa is the only country to host a FIFA World Cup and not make it to the knock out stage.
What Happened to Matthew Booth?
Booth who was born on the 14th March 1977 retired from professional football on the 19 June 2014. He was 37 years old at the time. It is reported that he was given an opportunity to renew his contract at Bidvest Wits.
Reports state that Booth owns junior coaching clinics at multiple public schools. He has also done some television work as an analyst and some writing for publications like The Sowetan. Booth has also registered to do a BA degree through the University Of South Africa (UNISA).
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