Mzansi prays for Moshoeu, Tovey

JOHANNESBURG - Stories dominating the Mzansi media industry this week were of two 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winning duo of John "Shoes" Moshoeu and former captain Neil Tovey lying in hospital critically ill.The two played a major role in Mzansi winning the 1996 African trophy and news of their poor health was greeted with shock by soccer loving fans.

Reports say Shoes has been unwell for some time now and has been in and out of hospital for the past three or so months. His condition was reportedly very grave a few days ago although latest reports say he has been responding well to treatment.

On the other end, former Bafana Bafana captain Tovey was attacked by multiple heart attacks early this week and had it not been for quick thinking and action by his girlfriend, the imposing former defender could have passed on.

The two are now recuperating in Johannesburg and Durban hospitals respectively.

While the two icons both played key roles in the 1996 triumph and were both darlings of the Kaizer Chiefs legion of supporters, it is Moshoeu's matter that touched the hearts of many.

The mercurial midfielder had a celebrated career both with Amakhosi and when he went to play in Turkey.

He is reported to have made millions while playing overseas and the rumour that circulated a few years back was that he had invested most of those millions in properties and other astute ventures. Some say he had shares in one of the thriving construction companies.

However, a Sunday newspaper which broke the story says the reserved linkman who retired a few years ago when he was in his 40s seemed to have fallen on hard times and could not afford hospital bills in a private clinic.

The fact that he is now receiving medical attention at a public hospital, according to the newspaper, emphasises that Moshoeu was not doing well financially.

A sad indictment if this is true.

Stories of soccer players getting out of the slums to make millions of dolars in the sport of billions but a few years down the line, return back where they come from (in total poverty) have played themselves out here like some imaginary stage show in Mzansi.

How, after making millions overseas does one lose everything to the extent of returning back to the slums where one grew up?

Others think that agents play a major role in fleecing these poor players by making poor investments or just ripping off the illiterate athletes.

Otherwise how does someone explain stories where certain players made over US$50m but three years down the line are a sorry sight with nowhere to stay? It defies logic.

That said, I join the rest of the country, Africa and the world in praying for Shoes and Tovey. They brought us happiness and success and the best the country can give the two is hope and wishing them fast recovery.

These are continental icons and one hopes they will shake off this latest setback and get back on their feet again.

* Feedback:

Comments (1)

you do not ''return back'', he returned to the slums he grew up in.

spine - 5 March 2015

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