A giant has fallen – Mashaba
Bafana Bafana head coach Ephraim Shakes Mashaba says he has been deeply saddened by the death of John Lesiba “Shoes” Moshoeu.
On Wednesday, 22 April, Mashaba, accompanied by some staff members from the South African Football Association (SAFA), went to pay his last respects at the home.
“First of all our condolences to the familiarity, especially the mother of the late legend, who was on his bedside from the moment he was ill until the last minute. Also to all his former colleagues, coaches and players who worked and played with him and also supported him in his hour of need. May the Almighty bless them, guide them and lead them during this difficult period.
“When a giant falls, everything shakes and that ends up being a pain that everyone is going through now – not just in South Africa but even overseas because he made his name there. Unfortunately many saw his skills late – they should have seen him when he was at Giant Blackpool and at the time I was coach of Vaal Reefs FC. He was a dazzling player, and with due respect to all the players at Blackpool back then, without him the club would not have achieved a lot. Those were the days he was at his best. Even when he moved to bigger clubs like Chiefs, he never lost his sparkle,” added Mashaba.
Shoes was not just remarkable on the field, off it he was also a special person.
“I used to call him a dressing room player. Where Shoes was, there was always peace; there was always commitment and passion. He was a very good dresser, a very flamboyant person. You would always love to be with him. When there were problems in the camp he would always be the peacemaker, saying let’s forget about this and focus on the job at hand, which is playing football.
“He was always a very respectful person – whether you were young or old, Shoes gave respect and that is why he earned the respect of many,” said the Bafana Bafana mentor.
“Shoes was a role model, lived a clean life that is why he managed to play well beyond 40 years of age. I think we missed out on something here; we needed to find out how he did it so we can teach the current and coming generations.”
He will greatly be remembered as one of the driving forces that led to South Africa winning the Africa Cup of Nations title in 1996 on home soil.
“We saw the best of him on that day. We need to document the history of such players, place them somewhere so people can read about it, not Google it. If current players can emulate him we would never worry about any player because the commitment was there. Here is a player who played his part, we must just accept that he is gone and be glad the pain he suffered is no more, so we can get closure. To the family, we know you are in pain at the loss of your beloved son but with time it will heal,” concluded Mashaba.