Matthew Paul Booth (born 14 March 1977) is a South African former professional footballer who played as a center-back. Booth spent the majority of his career in his home country, but also played in Russia for six years and briefly played in England for three months. Booth is remembered as a fan favorite among South African fans, who chanted “Booooooth” when he touched the ball, while British media outlets dubbed him as “The White Knight”, as he was the only white player in the South Africa national team in this period.
Early life and youth career
Booth was born in Fish Hoek to Paul and Anthea Booth. His father Paul was an engineer at the Cape Town city council, a semi-professional footballer and administrator for Fish Hoek AFC, while his mother Anthea was a legal secretary. Booth started playing football for Fish Hoek AFC in 1982 at the age of five. In 1993, he played in the Bayhill U19 tournament for Fish Hoek, where he was spotted by Cape Town Spurs coach Richard Gomes, who saw a lanky youngster flying into tackles halfheartedly and towering above the opposition’s attackers and invited him to train with the club’s youth. In 1994, shortly after he turned 17, he trained with the senior squad, which went on to win the league and the BobSave Super Bowl. At the time, he worked at a sports shop in Woodstock and would travel by train to Parow after work to train with the team at CR Vasco da Gama fields at the time, then traveled back to Fish Hoek after training.
Matthew Booth’s net worth is estimated to be $500,000, according to the list of richest South African Footballers.