TRIBUTES FOR ‘CHIPPA’ MASINGA
FORMER Bafana Bafana player Phil “Chippa” Masinga was a force on and off the football field.
He was a formidable striker for club and country, and is probably fondly remembered for the thunderous goal he scored against Congo from 25m out in 1997 to send South Africa into their first World Cup Finals – the 1998 World Cup Finals in France.
Then coach Clive Barker famously ran, arms outstretched, airplane-like, in celebration.
It was one of 18 goals Masinga would score for Bafana Bafana in his 58 appearances.
The year before, he had hoisted the Africa Cup of Nations trophy alongside then captain Neil Tovey and teammates riding the wave of post-1994 euphoria. With Nelson Mandela as president, South Africa had won the Rugby World Cup in 1995, and Afcon in 1996.
Masinga had a successful stint plying his trade overseas at Leeds, where he was united with his Bafana Bafana teammate Lucas Radebe.
He scored 11 goals in two years at Leeds United. But it was at Mamelodi Sundowns where Masinga was at his best.
He netted 98 times in 108 appearances for Downs.
Tributes poured in on social media after his passing yesterday.
Bafana Bafana tweeted: “@BafanaBafana legend Phil Masinga has passed on. MHSRIP.”
SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan said: “A sad day for SA football, a loyal servant of the game on and off the field,” while Leeds United tweeted: “It’s with great sadness that the club has learnt of Phil Masinga’s passing.
“Thoughts of everyone at #LUFC are with his family & friends.”
Political parties also shared their messages of condolence, with the EFF and DA tweeting their tributes.
A Leeds United fan account said: “Phil Masinga’s nine-minute hattrick will forever remain part of Leeds United folklore. At 2-2, he came on as a substitute to score three goals in extra time to seal Leeds’ 5-2 FA Cup win over Walsall at Elland Road on January 17, 1995. Rest in peace, Phil. #LUFC.”
@DiskiStyle tweeted a video of a goal scored by John “Shoes” Moshoeu, assisted by Masinga, for SA’s 3-0 Afcon win over Cameroon in 1996.
Footballers also paid tribute to one of their own.
“RIP to a Legend. Tnx for helping to pave the way for all of us to pursue our dreams #PhilMasinga,” Oupa Manyisa tweeted.
“Shocked and saddened to hear the News of Phil Masinga passing away at such a young age. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and @ LucasRadebe who I know will be devastated at losing his pal #RIP #LUFC #gonetoosoon,” former teammate at Leeds Dominic Matteo said.
PSL said yesterday it would honour Masinga with a moment of silence at all matches in the Absa Premiership, National First Division and Multichoice Diski Challenge.
“The league joins the rest of Africa and the world in mourning Masinga’s passing,” it said.
Afcon 1996 winner Mark Fish tweeted: “To hear you have gone my brother my friend PHIL MASINGA saddens me more than you can imagine...I thank you for the awesome memories on and off the field...Condolences to the Masinga family and May Phil’s soul Rest In Peace...We shall meet again my teammate for life...love you!!”
Orlando Pirates also paid tribute to Masinga, calling him the “archetypal striker: aggressive, burly, and an eye for goal”.
Masinga was admitted to hospital in Klerksdorp last month and later transferred to Parktown. He died yesterday morning at age 49.
FORMER prolific striker Phil ‘Chippa’ Masinga in a Bafana Bafana jersey. The former goal poacher died yesterday morning. |