Bafana Bafana

Lucas Radebe breaks down in tears at Masinga memorial service

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Phil Masinga (Gallo Images)
Phil Masinga (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Dignitaries and the local soccer fraternity on Monday paid tribute to Bafana Bafana legend Phil "Chippa" Masinga at his memorial service, with former team-mate Lucas Radebe breaking down in tears during a tribute.

The memorial service took place in Soweto, Johannesburg and was attended by dignitaries including SAFA president Danny Jordaan alongside Masinga's former team-mates - such as Mark Fish and Andre Arendse.

Masinga played 58 times for the national team, scoring on 18 occasions. He lost a long-running battle with cancer on January 13 and leaves behind three children, and wife Ntombi Nombewu.

"When it comes to death, when it's someone who is close to you...it's difficult," Radebe said. "Football sometimes isn't as glamorous as it seems and having Phil at Leeds made it that much easier for me.

"I called someone connected to Leeds to share the news that Phil had passed on, and he literally started sobbing uncontrollably...even later saying he was heading to drown his sorrows at a bar.

"That is the impact that Phil had on people wherever he went, he was loved by everyone."

The two were both signed by Leeds United in 1994 and spent two years together in England's top-flight, before the striker made a switch to St Gallen in Switzerland.

Former Bafana and Charlton Athletic defender Mark Fish said Masinga "was a giant of the game who inspired us all" as he also paid his respects in a tribute.

Masinga made his debut for South Africa in July 1992 against Cameroon in South Africa's first match following their readmission to international football by FIFA after the end of apartheid.

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