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 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. |

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