Sometimes the Amakhosi faithful love him; sometimes, they loathe him. His name is Bernard Parker, affectionately known as ‘Die Hond’.
Parker is one of the long-serving members of the Kaizer Chiefs squad. He has given a good 11 years of his career to the Soweto giants, yet he has endured unimaginable criticism from the club’s fans in recent seasons.
The 36-year-old is a regular starter on Stuart Baxter’s side and at times leads the team as captain. However, the coach’s decision has been met with disapproval by the Chiefs fans.
“As a senior member of the team, I am used to the fans, and we are itching to have them back at the stadium,” said Parker.
“The guys wouldn’t want to disappoint them, we have this love-hate relationship with them, but we want to welcome them back, top it up with a win.”
Chiefs will play in front of their fans for the first in two years due to Covid-19 when they host SuperSport United at FNB Stadium in a league game on Saturday evening.
“At this age (36), I am still able to give so much to this team. I try to give my best every game and be a team player,” added Parker.
“The support of my family and friends but most of all, I enjoy myself at training and ensure that I did in training I take it to the game. As much as I’m an example to the young lads, I am also trying to help them and ensure that they see me as a model in terms of professionalism.
“Everybody should use me as a model in terms of professionalism, and that’s what I am doing.”