FORMER Bafana Bafana star John “Shoes” Moshoeu has lost his battle with stomach cancer.
Moshoeu, the midfield playmaking maestro of the Bafana Bafana team that won the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations, died yesterday. He was 49.
Former coaches and teammates of the player were shocked at the news yesterday.
Clive Barker, coach of the 1996 Bafana team, said he had visited Moshoeu at his home in Diepkloof in the last two weeks.
“When I saw him he was really sick. You could see then he had no strength, and I held his hand. I knew that it was just a matter of time.”
Barker said Moshoeu had been the “conductor” of his Nations Cup-winning team.
“I think he would have been one of the best playmakers in the world then. He was the conductor in my orchestra. He knew when to quicken it, when to slow it down, when to put his foot on the ball.
“He scored vital goals in the Nations Cup. He really was, I think, player of the tournament for us.
“He was a great entertainer, terrific footballer, great team man. He and Doctor [Khumalo] could play against any team in the world and give us a chance. They were a magnificent team but those two were special,” Barker said.
Ex-teammate Steve Komphela said: “No comment will ever make sense of this. Nothing you could say would be fitting. In as much as it will happen to us all one day, we feel that we have lost someone [special],” he said.
Kaizer Chiefs communications manager Vina Maphosa said a club legend had been lost.