Mark Fish (born 14 March 1974) is a retired South African footballer who played as a defender for the South African National team.
|Full Name||Mark Fish|
|Date of Birth||14 March 1974 (age 47 years old)|
|Place of Birth||Cape Town, South Africa|
Mark Fish Age
He was born on the 14th of March 1974 in Cape Town, South Africa. As of 2021, he is 47 years old.
Born in Cape Town, Mark Fish started his career in his native South Africa under the guidance of renowned coach Steve Coetsee, playing for Arcadia Shepherds, an amateur team based at the Caledonian Stadium in Pretoria.
He was spotted by then Jomo Cosmos coach Roy Matthews and turned professional as a striker. It was at Cosmos that he was converted into a left-back and went on to become one of the most promising defenders in South Africa at the time.
In 1994 Fish was signed by Orlando Pirates after Cosmos were relegated. At Pirates, he arguably played the best football of his career under the tutelage of Mike Makaab.
He also won the league championship at Pirates, as well as the BP Top Eight Cup in 1994, the 1995 1995 African Champions League and the 1995 Bobsave Super Bowl (then the premier cup in South Africa).
He captained The Buccaneers when they beat JS Kabylie in the 1996 CAF Super Cup. In the same year, he was part of the history-making South African national team to have won the African Cup of Nations at the first attempt after South Africa’s readmission to FIFA in 1992.
Soon foreign scouts came knocking and he was signed by Lazio of Italy after he turned down an opportunity to play for his boyhood club, Manchester United. However, he did move to England after just one season at Lazio to become the highest-paid player at Bolton Wanderers.
Fish was a mainstay in Bolton’s back four for much of their first season back in the Premiership, he received praise from both teammates and those whom he played against, most notably Manchester United forward Andrew Cole.
Despite Fish’s efforts, Bolton were relegated on the last day of the season despite having accumulated 40 points, normally enough to stave off the drop.
Once playing back in the lower leagues Fish applied himself well, quickly gaining cult status amongst the Bolton faithful, backed up by his nickname “Feesh”, and a particularly eye-catching headgear in the shape of a giant Bluefish being made available in club stores.
However, new suitors soon came calling, and only after the appointment of Sam Allardyce did Fish’s star begin to fall in Lancashire. Fish soon followed his Danish teammate Claus Jensen and at Alan Curbishley’s second time of asking moved to Charlton Athletic in a £700,000 move in November 2000.
“The Big Fish” as he was affectionately known throughout his playing career went on to make 102 Premiership appearances for the Addicks, scoring three times.
In 2005, he began to fall out of favour at Charlton. He went on to have a very short loan spell (45 mins) at Ipswich Town in the 2005–06 season but a severe cruciate ligament injury led to Fish announcing his retirement.
Fish returned to football when he signed a six-month contract with his first club Jomo Cosmos in early 2007 but did not play an official game due to his low level of fitness.
Internationally, Mark Fish is best remembered as being a crucial part of South Africa’s victorious national soccer squad when they won the 1996 African Cup of Nations.
He scored one of the goals in the quarter-final against Algeria. He was named to the Team of the Tournament in both the 1996 and 1998 African Cup of Nations. In total he won 62 caps for the South African national team, scoring twice.
He made his international debut in a friendly game against Mexico on 6 October 1993 and received his last cap in a World Cup qualifier against Ghana on 20 June 2004.
He has an estimated net worth of $500,000 which he has earned as a footballer.