Former Celtic player passes away

2016-02-17 06:00


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FORMER Bloemfontein Celtic footballer Johannes Motsere Motlhaping has died.

The 33-year-old Nigel-born defender died last Wednesday (10/02).

The cause of his death has not been confirmed, but he will be laid to rest this weekend.

Tornado, as Motlhaping was affectionately known in football circles, plied his trade at Celtic for more than a decade. He was last registered with National First Division outfit Vasco Da Gama before he died.

“I’m the one who brought him to Vasco from Bloemfontein Celtic,” Tony de Nobrega, former Motlhaping coach at Celtic, said on the website Kick Off on Friday (12/02).

“He only played one game for us. I knew him from our days at Celtic. He was a gentle giant, very soft inside, very friendly, a nice, respectful guy. We are sad to lose him, but that’s life,” explained De Nobrega.

John Maduka, Celtic’s team manager and former teammate of the deceased, described him as a good guy who could talk to anyone.

“He died on Wednesday afternoon. He was very sick. He was not only my teammate but a very close friend of mine,” said Maduka on Friday.

“I couldn’t believe it was true when I had first heard the news because two weeks ago he came to see us at Siwelele Park. I could tell he was not okay, he had something like a rash on his body as if he was allergic to something. I asked him if he had been to a doctor and he said yes.

“It’s hard, especially for the players who had played with him. I also played with him at Celtic during Paul Dolezar’s era,” said Maduka.

The funeral service for Motlhaping will be held at the AME Church in Duduza, Nigel, on Saturday (20/02) at 07:00.

  • The procession will be leaving for the Nigel Cemetery at 09:00. Everyone at Express would like to send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Motlhaping.

May his soul rest in peace!

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