CAPE TOWN – The football community reacted on Tuesday to the news of the brutal murder of former player Marc Batchelor.
The former footballer was gunned down in his vehicle in what appears to be a professional hit by two gunmen on motorbikes in front of his house in Olivedale, Johannesburg.
In an online statement this morning, Orlando Pirates said:
“Orlando Pirates Football Club is saddened by the news of the passing of former striker Marc Batchelor who was shot in Johannesburg last night.
“From all of us at Orlando Pirates Football Club, we convey our heartfelt and deepest sympathy to the Batchelor family and pledge our profound moral support.
“We supplicate that God gives you fortitude at this moment of your extreme grief and pain.”
Batchelor was one of a few players who have played in the colours of many of the top clubs in South Africa. In a career that spanned over a decade, he donned the colours of Orlando Pirates, Wits University, Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns as well as Moroka Swallows.
The Pirates statement continues:
“Batch, as he was affectionately known, was not known for his speed or skill but play anything to his head and he was in a league of his own.
“Batch was part of the Pirates team that conquered the continent in 1995 where he featured in the first leg of the final against Asec Mimosas as a starter.
“He was then replaced by Bruce Ramokadi in the second leg, where he came off the bench in Pirates' famous victory over the Ivorian giants.”
The Johannesburg-born striker began his professional career with Dynamos, before being signed by Wits University.
His goal-scoring exploits for the Students earned him a move into the spotlight with Orlando Pirates, and he was part of the Bucs squad which won the CAF Champions League in 1995.
A brief spell followed with Pretoria City, before he moved to Pirates' Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs in 1997, spending three years with Amakhosi.
After another brief stay at Pretoria City, Batchelor ended his career at another famous Soweto side, Moroka Swallows in 2003
Others posted their condolences on social media:
May the soul of Mark Batchelor rest in peace. He will solemnly missed in South African football fraternity. 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/DZGsLCfvQS— Ruby Kekana (@RubyKekana) July 15, 2019
I'm deeply saddened at hearing of the death of former footballer and football analyst Mark Batchelor— Thomas Mlambo (@thomasmlambo) July 15, 2019
I worked with him for many years on TV
Deepest Condolences. pic.twitter.com/TIb1EbVlZT