Johannesburg - The chilly and rainy weather did not deter soccer fans from coming out in their numbers to pay tribute to the late soccer giant, John "Shoes" Moshoeu on Friday.
Some of the fans, most of whom were dressed in Kaizer Chiefs T-shirts, sat on one side of the Grace Bible Church in Pimville, Soweto, alongside fans of their rival team, Orlando Pirates.
The football lovers sang and clapped in unison in honour of Moshoeu who died of stomach cancer earlier this week.
During his lengthy soccer career, Moshoeu, played for Bafana Bafana, Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu and also played internationally.
Speaker after speaker who took to the podium described him as a humble, hard-working man who loved his family.
Mourners at the memorial service were told of Moshoeu's compassion for foreigners and his contribution to upcoming footballers.
Among the dignitaries at the memorial service was SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan, former Test cricketer Ali Bacher, Kaizer Chiefs players Kaizer Motaung Junior, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Reneilwe Letsholonyane.
Sports commentators, a few actors and musicians also came to pay their respects.
Proceedings got off to a sombre start with a video depicting some of Moshoeu's greatest moments being played on the screen.
"I always tell people I am not a dairy product, I don't have an expiry date. I will play as long as I can," Moshoeu said in one of the video clips.
True to what he said, Moshoeu was one the oldest players to take to the field in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
‘Scandal-free, simple life’
Current Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim "Shakes" Mashaba said Shoes lived a scandal-free, simple life.
"This man lived a very clean life. Everything that he did was him and he was always striving for success," Mashaba said.
He echoed the words of Moshoeu's former team mate, Arthur Zwane, who said Moshoeu was always very encouraging of his team mates.
"When he was in the dressing room, there were no politics. It was all about football," said Mashaba.
"There would never be problems where Shoes was. Never. "
PSL and Orlando Pirates chairperson Irvin Khoza said he had wanted Moshoeu to play for Pirates but the talented midfielder was swooped up by his rivals.
Khoza said Moshoeu had possessed all the qualities needed to become a success including integrity, discipline and willingness to work hard.
"He knew how to create wealth," said Khoza.
During the memorial service, former Bafana player Steve Kompela told mourners that Moshoeu owned two multi-million rand homes.
Khoza said just like Mary, mother of Jesus, Moshoeu's mother did not know the great impact the child she had carried would have on the nation.
As the end drew near for Moshoeu, he was in and out of hospital.
Former Bafana coach, Clive Barker and Lucas Radebe were amongst those who said Moshoeu put up a great fight but was now resting peacefully.
Kompela said even at death, Moshoeu looked good.
"After he passed on, I looked at him... Handsome... Handsome..." said Kompela.
Moshoeu, who is survived by his wife, children, mother and sister would be buried in Soweto on Monday.
The service was expected to start at the Grace Bible Church at 09:00.