Durban: Sunil Bodasing, a goalkeeper for the Isipingo Soccer Legends and the principal at Queensburgh High School, died of a heart attack while playing on Saturday.
Bodasing, 60, of Malvern, who was recently promoted principal, died on the school grounds while playing a friendly match against Newlands Football Club.
Ganny Govender, the chairperson of the Isipingo Soccer Legends, said an hour before Bodasing's death, he was trimming the lawn before the match.
“He died doing what he loved most, and that was playing soccer. While the game was on, although the ball was not near him, he suddenly collapsed at the goalpost. The players, thereafter, contacted the paramedics, who could not resuscitate him as his heart attack was massive. His death was sudden, untimely, and tragic, especially with all of us at the club being there with him,” said Govender.
He said he shared a close friendship with Bodasing, who previously worked at Durban High School for 20 years. Their friendship spanned 30 years.
“Sunil was a true legend of soccer and an ardent Chelsea fan. He started playing competitive soccer with the Isipingo Hills Football Club. Thereafter, he continued to play for various other clubs and school teams. He decided to come back in his twilight years to play for Isipingo Soccer Legends.
"Sunil was a key member of our soccer club. He was always at the forefront of organising soccer events and driving our players in his own personal bus to our away soccer matches in Newcastle and Pietermaritzburg. We, as a club, are going to miss him. We pray that his family is given the strength to overcome this sad loss.”
Bodasing, a father of two, also enjoyed playing volleyball, singing and playing the guitar.
Sanreesha Bodasing, his eldest daughter, said: “My dad was larger than life. He went above and beyond for his family and friends. As his daughter, I knew I could turn to him for assistance with anything, and it would be done. He loved to share his passion for music, sport and education with people and touched the lives of everyone who came in contact with him. He lit up any room with his sense of humour and charisma. He was a genuine person and an inspiration.
"My dad taught us many values, one of which was to always celebrate life, and this is how we will continue to honour him. My appreciation for my dad's greatness cannot be measured. He will be dearly missed."
Bodasing is survived by his wife, Preetha, daughters and three grandchildren.
His funeral was held at the Clare Estate Crematorium on Monday.