Former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana striker Lesley Manyathela tragically died in a car accident on his way home (Musina) to spend time with his mother on Women’s Day in 2003.
Manyathela had just returned from trials in Europe and scored the consolation goal for Pirates in the 2-1 defeat by Jomo Cosmos the day before his death.
FARPost paid a visit to Manyathela’s mother, Gladys, at her home in Musina to reflect on the life and times of the former Bafana Bafana player.
“Every year when the 9th of August arrives I feel that pain again,” she said.
“I am always missing my son. I think of him, the best things (memories) when he was still alive and I miss him so much and it is very painful I can’t heal from that. Yes, I will heal a little bit but to forget, I will never forget that I once had a precious baby and I have to miss him,” added Manyathela.
This Publication also caught up with Lesley son, Lesley Junior, who was 3-years-old when his father passed away. Junior who is also a striker, is currently playing for the Highlands Park reserve side.
“My dad passed away when I was 3 years old, so I don’t recall many things about him but I have many wishes if he was alive one thing I know is that I love him and I want to pick up where he left,” said Manyathela Junior.
“I have a lot to achieve and I just want to make him proud. There is a reason why he named me after him (Lesley Junior) I am going to give my all to make sure that I achieve his dream by playing overseas,” he said.
Slow Poison, as he was affectionately known, represented his country at national level on five occasions.
Manyathela had a flourishing career at national Under-23 where he played 13 times with six goals. He also made five appearances in the national Under/20 side.
By Ofhani Munyai