Teammates hail Gabuza for bravery in midst of personal tragedy

Thamsanqa Gabuza of SuperSport United during the MTN8 final against Highlands Park on Saturday. The player has been praised by his teammates for his excellent performance despite his recent loss.
Thamsanqa Gabuza of SuperSport United during the MTN8 final against Highlands Park on Saturday. The player has been praised by his teammates for his excellent performance despite his recent loss.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

SuperSport United skipper Dean Furman and striker Bradley Grobler were as stunned as everyone when their teammate Thamsanqa Gabuza told them about the passing of his son after their 1-0 victory over Highlands Park in the MTN8 on Saturday.

Both players admitted they don’t know if they could have handled the situation the way Gabuza did. He put his team first instead of taking time off to bury his son on Thursday after the child passed away on Monday.

Gabuza disclosed the news after their win over Highlands Park on Saturday, leaving coach Kaitano Tembo and the rest of the players speechless in the dressing room after they were crowned champions.

Gabuza‚ who was named the man of the match for his sterling performance‚ was praised by his teammates for showing bravery and putting the interests of the team ahead of personal tragedy.

“I think everyone was shocked, and it just shows his character‚” said Grobler, who headed in the winning goal for SuperSport to win their second MTN8 trophy in three years after contesting the past three finals.

“I think there are not many people who could do what he did. I don’t know if I could do that. Massive credit to him and overall I’m just happy for him. He’s been through a tough time and he’s come to us and we’ve welcomed him into the family. You can see how happy he is and he is enjoying his football again. He’s a great addition to have in the team and I enjoy playing with him a lot.”

Furman‚ who was happy to lift another trophy as SuperSport captain‚ also paid tribute to Gabuza by describing his commitment to the club as unquestionable.

“It was emotional‚” said Furman of the reaction from players after Gabuza told them the news.

“No one expected it. It was a very‚ very emotional moment. What we’ve built here at SuperSport is a team that is very close.

“We’ve just got to remain around him and support him and his family. It’s going to be very tough weeks and months ahead for him. For his teammates‚ we just have to help him through and give all the support he needs.”

Furman also said what Gabuza did was unexpected.

“For him to do what he did without telling anyone is quite incredible‚” said the Bafana Bafana midfielder.

“It was one of those moments where the hair is raised at the back of your neck. It was very‚ very emotional and I’ve got huge respect for what he did.

“To go out there and put up a performance like he did. For me he’s a player of the tournament. He was absolutely unbelievable. Two goals against (Bidvest) Wits‚ incredible against (Mamelodi) Sundowns in both legs and tonight, getting man of the match.

“I think he’s found the home where he’s loved. We love him and the fans sing his name. He’s enjoying himself. Despite what’s gone on, it’s nice to see his smile on his face.”

Gabuza‚ who finished as the tournament’s top scorer with three goals‚ did not want to talk to the media immediately after the game on Saturday.


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