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SASCOC grieves another death in the sports fraternity

National macro sports body, SASCOC are mourning the passing of one of the country’s soccer greats, John ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu, who lost a long battle against cancer in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Moshoeu, aged just 49, was part of the victorious Bafana Bafana team at the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations tournament on home soil and he played an integral part in that memorable victory.

His contribution to football dates back to the period just after returning from decades of apartheid-induced international isolation, where South Africa conquered the continent.

While the entire squad were feted for their remarkable achievement, ‘Shoes’, fellow midfielder ‘Doctor’ Khumalo and centre-back Mark Fish proved to be popular figures among the public. The success also catapulted football on to the front pages of local newspapers.

Moshoeu was also part of the national team that created more history by qualifying for the 1998 World Cup in France. One of the only surprises during his 73-cap international career was that he scored only eight goals given his exceptional dribbling skills and awareness of finding gaps in opposing defences.

The midfield ace played for Kaizer Chiefs and his skills did not go unnoticed for long and he soon headed off to Europe where he went on to play for three Turkish clubs.

After 10 seasons in Turkey, ‘Shoes’ then came back to South Africa where he again played for Chiefs. His final stint as a player was with Alexandra United in Johannesburg.

Moshoeu had been in and out of hospitals recently without revealing the seriousness of his illness.

‘These are very hard times for South African sport right now,’ said SASCOC CEO Mr Tubby Reddy. ‘We can only hope that our sportsmen and women and South Africa as a nation can get the strength to work through this sad loss and come back stronger in the long term. In just a few months we have now lost four sportsmen. Our thoughts go out to Moshoeu’s family and friends as well as the football community.’

Added SASCOC President Gideon Sam: “Shoes was a shining light in South African football. His ball skills were an absolute joy to watch and he entertained the nation, indeed the continent, with his unique talents. Hopefully the next generation of young footballers will still look up to him as an inspiration to reach the top of their sport. May his soul rest in peace and our hearts are with his family, friends and the South African football family.”


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