Linare vice-cap­tain dies

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

LINARE and the foot­ball fra­ter­nity at large are mourn­ing the death of de­fender Lebo­hang ‘Mabizela’ Mata­mane, who died on Sun­day in a car ac­ci­dent. He was born on 11 De­cem­ber 1984. Linare pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Re­filoe Makhobot­loane, told the Le­sotho Times that Mata­mane’s death came as a shock to ev­ery­one at the club. The de­fender wore the cap­tain’s arm­band in last Satur­day’s 0-1 loss to Kick­4life.

Ac­cord­ing to Makhobot­loane, Mata­mane passed away at Maseru Pri­vate Hospi­tal af­ter he had the ac­ci­dent in Peka on his way from Leribe to Maseru.

“It’s a very sad sit­u­a­tion be­cause he played on Satur­day in the 0-1 loss to Kick­4life. He was ac­tu­ally the vice-cap­tain of our team, but was wear­ing the arm­band at the week­end,” Makhobot­loane said.

“The other sad part was he was the only one among the five peo­ple in the car, who died. He was in the com­pany of his brother, his son and two other friends.”

The Linare spokesper­son also said Mata­mane’s team­mates are strug­gling to come to terms with the loss of their col­league.

“It has come as a shock to ev­ery­one and our play­ers are in deep pain be­cause of his per­son­al­ity and the role he played at the club,” said Makhobot­loane.

“I doubt if they will be in the right frame of mind to play at the week­end, but that de­ci­sion will de­pend on the foot­ball author­i­ties.

“What we will do as a club is to get psy­cho­log­i­cal help to as­sist the play­ers over­come the grief,” he said.

Makhobot­loane also told the Le­sotho Times that the man­age­ment had al­ready met with the fam­ily of their late player to pass their con­do­lences as well as work to­gether to pre­pare for his burial.

Linare cap­tain, Napo Sehloho said Mata­mane was like a brother to him.

“When he joined Linare, I was still a young­ster and he was more ex­pe­ri­enced hav­ing played for Rovers be­fore. He was al­ways there to of­fer me ad­vice dur­ing the tough times,” Sehloho said.

“We had be­come very close so much that I could even share my per­sonal is­sues with him.

“We will all re­mem­ber him for be­ing a hum­ble char­ac­ter as well as a leader.”

Sehloho said they are all in pain and he had to call each and ev­ery one of his team­mates to come for train­ing since they heard the tragic news.

“This is a big blow. We have not been play­ing well of late, but none of the play­ers came for train­ing on Mon­day af­ter we heard about his death,” said the at­tack­ing mid­fielder.

“This is more painful to me be­cause he was my vice-cap­tain, but it was him show­ing me the way as an older brother, but I will for­ever cher­ish what he did to help me be­come a bet­ter player and a wiser hu­man be­ing,” he said.

Former Linare cap­tain, Mabuti Pot­loane now at Mat­lama, said he was shat­tered with the pass­ing away of his ex-team­mate.

“It’s still a shock to me that Mabizela is no more. We were very close at Linare and even when I left last sea­son. It is very painful to even think that he is no more,” Pot­loane said.

“I try not to think about it be­cause it makes me sad as I’m strug­gling to be­lieve that he is in­deed gone.”

The de­fender, who is sur­vived by his wife, son, par­ents and sib­lings, joined Linare from Rovers in 2009.

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