Legendary former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker’s family said the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winner was "in good spirits" after suffering an aneurysm, which affected blood flowing from his heart.
The 78-year-old's family released a statement on Thursday saying the man who led South Africa to its only men’s continental title was currently undergoing rehabilitation after successful heart surgery.
The family also said they were "deeply moved" by the wave of support received after news of Barker’s illness broke.
Full family statement:
On behalf of our family, we would like to give an update on the wellbeing of much-loved former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker.
Clive recently underwent an operation to restore normal flow through his aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from your heart to the rest of your body, after suffering an aneurysm.
He is now undergoing rehabilitation in a Step Down Facility and it is hoped he will be able to return home soon.
Clive is in good spirits and positive about his journey to recovery, saying: “lt feels like I’m in one of the pre-season trainings that my players had to endure when I was coaching.”
The Barker family would like to express our sincere gratitude to the doctors and healthcare professionals at both the St Augustine’s and Entabeni hospitals, who have worked tirelessly in their treatment of Clive.
We are deeply moved by the prayers and support that has been expressed by colleagues, players, friends and fans.
We acknowledge that there is a keen public interest in the wellbeing of Clive, but request the family’s privacy at this time. The family will update on his health status via a press statement at a later stage.