“We lost a legend:” Banyana coach pays tribute to Luthuli


Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has paid tribute to former national team teammate Makhosi Luthuli following the tragic news that she has passed away at the age of 46 after a long battle with cancer.

Luthuli played for Banyana between 1997 and 2005, earning 48 international caps and appearing in three Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) tournaments before retiring in 2006 after almost a decade representing the women’s senior national team.

The midfield stalwart reportedly died in hospital in Scottburgh, KwaZulu-Natal on Monday afternoon. She had been diagnosed with lymphoma cancer back in 2011.

Photo Credit: Duif du Toit. 

Ellis expressed fond memories of Luthuli, describing her as a hard worker. “She was always smiling, a hard worker and very dedicated to serving the team,’’ she said.

‘’We have lost an honest and principled individual. May her soul rest in peace,” added the Banyana coach.

Despite the physical hardship of living with the large disfiguring facial cancerous tumour on her face, which was eventually removed by a team of doctors led by Dr Frits Hoogendijk at Life Wilgers Hospital in Pretoria, Luthuli’s passion for football saw her continue to coach at her club for the past seven years.

After hanging up her boots, Luthuli established her own academy – The Future Stars Academy in her home town of Mariannhill, near Pinetown, west of Durban, training young girls and boys.

The football community has rallied to remember Luthuli as tributes and condolences continue to pour in for the former Banyana star.

“We have lost a legend, one of the pioneers of women football following our readmission into the FIFA family,’’ said Safa President Dr Danny Jordaan.


RELATED STORY: Former Banyana star passes on

By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *