Former Bafana coach dies

2011-11-28 08:38

Johannesburg - The South African soccer family is in mourning following the passing on of former Bafana Bafana coach April "Styles" Phumo, reports the Sowetan.

The man who was popularly known as "Bra Styles" died just after 11:00 on Sunday of cancer at a private hospital, said daughter Olga Phori.

"The passing on of Bra Styles is a big loss to South African football, especially for development," said former SAFA president Molefi Oliphant.

"He was a symbol of humility and technical knowledge. I have known him for decades, the man was passionate about development.

"I still remember when he avoided relegation while he was still coach of Bloemfontein Celtic, they scored after a backpass from Charles Motlohi.

"He was always available to assist, be it at Bafana Bafana, Under-23, Amajita and Banyana Banyana. He loved his football," said Oliphant.

"One of my greatest memories with him was in 2002 when Bafana Bafana won a bronze medal at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ghana and Nigeria.

"He was working closely with head coach Trott Moloto,' said Oliphant.

SAFA technical director Serame Letsoaka, who worked closely with Phumo for more than two decades, is equally devastated.

"I have known Bra Styles for many years, he was my role model. I know he has not been well for sometime, but his death comes as a big shock.

"I learnt many things about coaching from Bra Styles, he was not a selfish man. He was like a moving library of our football."

SAFA deputy president Danny Jordaan said: "Styles was a gentleman coach, he was one person who was dedicated to football.

"He also wanted to develop coaches, worked with Horst Kriete when they were drawing up the coaches' education programme.

"The game has lost a dedicated servant."

Atlie FC caretaker coach Sello Chokoe said: "He was working with us when we started preparing for the new season, you could see he was not well.

"The man was knowledgeable when it comes to soccer in South Africa and Lesotho. We have lost a great soldier of South African soccer.

"Our condolences to his family and friends. We will always remember him for his passion for development soccer."

Premier Soccer League have also sent their condolences to the Phumo family through chairman Irvin Khoza.

Khoza described Phumo as one of the most knowledgable coaches, especially at developmental level. Funeral arrangements have not been completed.


  • wnkambule - 2011-11-28 09:37

    May his soul rest in peace!

  • kabo.j.masole - 2011-11-28 10:07

    R I P bra Styles...

  • Isaiah - 2011-11-28 10:13

    My u're soul rest in peace Bra Style,the country has lost big time.

  • siyat.bonanza - 2011-11-28 10:35

    Bra Styles was one of the people that contributed positively to the South African soccer. During his times at Bloemfontein Celtics, stars like Shoes Ledimo, Abram Nteo Ace Gulwa etc were groomed by him. He helped to shape our Bafana team as well. He truly loved soccer. Hope his family will heal at this sad time

  • mpumy.mjadu - 2011-11-28 11:05

    Death, like birth, is a secret of Nature,something you can not escape even if you wish to. bra Styles has done his share, it was time for him to leave,though no words can really help to relieve the pain of losing the loved one,but all we can do is say a prayer for those he left behind, may God grant his family n frends the strength to deal with his absence.....

  • Maluk - 2011-11-28 11:14

    may his soul rest in peace (bra styles phumo)

  • gmanyamalali - 2011-11-28 11:31

    may his soul rest in peace,his memory will last forever.

      Sphiwe - 2011-11-28 11:38

      May his family find comfort at this difficult time - RIP Bra style.

  • Scooter - 2011-11-28 12:13

    May almighty grant his family and friends the strength to deal with his absence!!! May his soul Rest in peace! Bra styles will always be remembered

  • Thopa - 2011-11-28 12:17

    Great to see News24 found time to make a gallery about Gary Speed but Bra Styles who at some stage coached bafana bafana does not yet have one.

  • Marius - 2011-11-28 14:14

    One of the few who did what he do very well. RIP.

  • John - 2011-11-28 15:10

    A wonderful career that inspired many i'm sure..Rest in Peace..

  • Victor - 2011-11-28 16:15

    May your soul rest in peace, you were the great son of Africa.

  • sh.fish1 - 2011-11-30 09:30


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