The shot-stopper was serving in the Rhodesian Bush War in the 1970s after being conscripted for an 11-month period
Bruce Grobbelaar revealed he killed a man and playing football for Liverpool ‘saved his life’ from slipping into depression.
The 60-year-old served in the army during the Rhodesian Bush War after being conscripted for an 11-month period.
Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980, the country Grobbelaar would represent a total 32 times, and emerged after a brutal war caused by an uprising against white rule.
Working as an enemy tracker, the 60-year-old told the BBC how he saw friends die and took another man’s life himself.
“You’re not the same person once you have done it,” Grobbelaar said.
“You have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.
“The memories have subsided somewhat, but there are times when you are with your mates back in Africa and they particularly like to speak about it. I don’t.
“After that, for about a two or three-week period, I do get cold sweats and wake up with those feelings again.”
Upon the ending of his conscription period, Grobbelaar went to Canada to play for Vancouver Whitecaps in the hope of leaving his past behind.
It was a loan move to Crewe Alexandra which brought about the move to the Reds, scout Tom Saunders spotted the charismatic keeper and convinced the club to sign him in 1981.
The star spent 13 successful years at Liverpool, winning six league titles, three FA Cups, three League Cups and the European Cup in 1984.
However, had it not been for football, Grobbelaar admitted his life could have turned out very differently.
“Over the years, I am very lucky that I didn’t submerge into a form of depression, because football saved my life really,” he says.
“Once I came out of the military, I had football to fall upon which took my mind off those incidents.”