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FORMER soccer boss Coloured Passmore has died.
Passmore, whose real name was Samuel Mdluli, was the owner of the now defunct Giant Blackpool club, which campaigned in the then National Soccer League.
The team boasted talented players such as John “Shoes” Moshoeu, Fani Madida, Geelbooi “Gomma Gomma” Masango – who formed the Triple-M combination. Other players included Rudolph “Gardner” Seale, Gavin Lane and Jerry Sikhosana.
The club, which first gained promotion into the top tier of South African football in 1986, was later sold to Peter Rabali in 1995.
According to his younger brother, Mdluli Mdluli, Passmore died at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital on Sunday after a long illness. He was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago after suffering a stroke.
His death forced the family to postpone the funeral of his mother, who was to have been buried on Sunday.
“He was supposed to have been discharged. But somebody told him my mother died and his blood pressure increased. It’s difficult for the family,” Mdluli said.
Yesterday, Moshoeu was particularly at a loss for words to describe Passmore’s death.
“Eish! What a man? For all the years that I played for the team, he always gave us all the support we needed. He was not just a manager, but a father figure, too,” Moshoeu said, adding that he had stayed at Passmore’s house for more than six months.
“There was a time when people thought I should leave Blackpool for (Kaizer) Chiefs or (Orlando) Pirates, but I stayed on because I was patriotic. He was a great influence in my life,” said Moshoeu, who went on to play for Chiefs and Bafana Bafana.
Passmore’s life was not without controversy.
He was part of the once influential A-team, that included the likes of Kaizer Chiefs supremo Kaizer Motaung.
He was also key witness in a major drug dealing case that involved two Nigerians.
This was after lawyers for the accused demanded that Passmore – who had provided the police with information that led to the seizure of container with cocaine with an estimated street value of R90 million – disclose his source.
Passmore is survived by five children and his wife.