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COLOURED “Passmore” Mdluli, the former flamboyant Soweto socialite was involved in a number businesses including owning a soccer team and having a share in the car industry.
He was well-known for being a smart dresser who owned a fleet of flashy cars. Among his long list of friends was Kaizer Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung, PG Rangers chairman Victor Selane, former journalist Jeff Masekwameng and businessman Za Khubeka.
The soccer fraternity was once abuzz that that Motaung's continual success as club owner and businessman could have had positive influence on the urbane Mdluli to be involved in soccer.
Born in Zola 3 in Soweto, Mdluli owned the then Second Division Alexander Blackpool Football Club. The club later changed the name to Giant Blackpool after acquiring a sponsorship from car dealer Giant Car Bazaars.
Mdluli always amused people with his jokes. He would sometimes come to the National Soccer League/National Professional Soccer League's weekly press conference in a convertible car, dressed in designer suit and puffing cigar.
Under Mdluli's chairmanship, Blackpool grew in leaps and bounds and had committed players like John “Shoes” Moshoeu, and Geelboy “Gomma Gomma” Masango. When Blackpool gained promotion to the First Division, the club continued to outshine opponents. Soweto's big three, Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Moroka Swallows all lost to a rampant Blackpool in league encounters at some stage. When Chiefs showed interest in Moshoeu, the star player's move was inevitable. Moshoeu later joined Chiefs and continued to excel until he was snapped up by an Austrian team.