Player’s death is a wake-up call

2015-04-12 15:00

One of South Africa’s most exciting soccer stars, Jabu Mahlangu, once opened up about his alcohol addiction, saying that things got so bad, there were times he was drunk when he took to the pitch.

The effect of the booze and drugs took their toll, and soon he was left with nothing, after losing his cars and home.

He was not the only football player to experience this – others lost their lives while at the top of their careers.

The death of Free State and former Bafana Bafana striker Richard Henyekane evokes those memories and focuses attention on football players whose talents are not properly nurtured.

His club captain, Paulus Masehe, has spoken of how he advised players not to party that night after they lost their match. Henyekane’s former coaches also spoke of his drinking problem.

Club owners need to do more to invest in developing life skills for their players. Often, players are barely out of their teens when they sign lucrative contracts that expose them to lives they are clearly unprepared for. To lose such a young and talented life is tragic, but it is more painful when such deaths are preventable.

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