Former Cosmos captain Collen Ntlemo, Madigage's Cosmos former teammate Phil Masinga, Tommy, and his mentor Jomo Sono

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Thomas Madigage: A fine human being

Thomas Madigage: A fine human being

Posted: 19 October 2012 Time: 9:43 am

It is a mark of the man that at the news of his passing, most people's reaction was one of grief, at the loss of such a high calibre person as Thomas Madigage.

Often when people involved in football pass on, the immediate response is to describe the loss of talent as a player or coach. Madigage was talented, hugely so, but he was also an absolute gentleman, a softly spoken individual who was respected, admired and much loved by all around him.

It is a great tribute to him and his family that people remember the man first and football coach second, a rarity in this day and age.

But there was plenty to admire in a career that might have produced more in the way of accolades had he not been continually hampered by injuries.

Click here to see our gallery of memories of Madigage

Having come through the Arcadia Shepherds club, Madigage made his debut for Jomo Cosmos in a 2-1 loss to Leeds United in March 1987. Aged just 16-and-a-half, he was at the time the youngest player ever to feature in a South African domestic match, a record that would later be taken by Mkhanyiseli Siwahla.

An attractive midfielder with a keen eye for goal, he played an important role in Cosmos lifting the NSL title that year. His first goal came in a thrilling 4-3 victory over Moroka Swallows, and he would go on to get two more that season.

He was a commanding presence in the Ezenkosi side for the next four years, his performances winning him a move to FC Zurich in Switzerland for the 1990/91 campaign.

It was a rarity in those days for black South African players to go to Europe; the rush would come later in the post-apartheid era.

He netted on debut for the Swiss side, but unfortunately also picked up a knee injury that ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. One wonders what might have been had he not suffered such a cruel fate.

He returned to Jomo Cosmos for the 1992 season but continued to be plagued by injury niggles and never quite managed to get a run of games going.

He did make his Bafana Bafana debut in this time though, featuring in a 0-0 draw with Mauritius in a 1994 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

He would total just four appearances for his country, not nearly enough for a player of his quality. He had to wait another three years before featuring again, replacing Doctor Khumalo in South Africa's famous 3-2 loss at the hands of Brazil (April 1996), then playing further matches against Ghana (September 1996) and his last against Netherlands (June 1997).

He was recalled to the Bafana side in June 1999, but had to pull out of the squad through injury. 

He joined Pretoria City from Cosmos for the 1994 season, the year they were relegated to the second tier. He stuck with the side though and helped them to promotion, as well as the Bob Save Super Bowl Final, where they lost 3-2 to Cape Town Spurs.

He would go on to spend 10 seasons as a player with Pretoria City, who morphed into SuperSport United at the start of the PSL era in the 1996/97 campaign.

During that time he won the Sparletta Cup in 1995 and, finally, the Bob Save Super Bowl in 1999.

Madigage took on a player-assistant coach role with SuperSport towards the end of his career, before finally hanging up his boots at the end of the 2002/03 season. By then he had amassed 310 career starts and scored a very healthy 51 goals.

He stayed on at the club as assistant coach to former teammate Pitso Mosimane and together the pair elevated Matsatsantsa to the status of perennial title challengers.

They claimed the SAA Supa8 in 2004 (they were losing finalists in 2005 and 2006 as well) and the Absa Cup in 2005. The side were also losing finalists in the Coca-Cola Cup in 2004 and 2005, narrowly beaten by Kaizer Chiefs and Jomo Cosmos, respectively.

When Mosimane left for the Bafana Bafana assistant coaching role in 2007, he was replaced by Gavin Hunt, who immediately saw the value in Madigage and was eager to continue working with him.

Together they began to dominate South African football, winning a trio of League titles between 2008 and 2010, as well as the Nedbank Cup in 2012, just two months before Madigage finally ended his love-affair with SuperSport to take up the role of Bafana assistant coach.

Although Hunt will rightly take plenty of plaudits for this period of Matsatsantsa success, the role that Madigage played was immense and should never be underestimated. Certainly it never was by Hunt himself.

Madigage would have turned 42 when Bafana play Zambia on November 14. It is sure to be an emotional night, and one where South African fans will get the opportunity to say their thanks to this fine servant to South African football, but more importantly a fine human being.

Article by: Mzansi Football

Previous comments on this story...

Gucci Man
posted: 09:51 am
I don't care what article will be posted today by KO uGucci Man would be morning with the family,friends and the nation . Gucci Man will be posting supportive messages .....

KO bloggers ....Can we be possitive today irrespective of the article posted by KO , whether its about Jali,Teko Modise,Siphiwe Tshabalala or Bernard Parker , tonight's game.

Lets celebrate Thomas Madigage's departure and be united and lets talk sense bafwethu .

Love & Peace
Bizzabo1
posted: 09:52 am
RIP Chincha

but people can say whatever...Mjomane unearthed a lot of talented players. Madigage being one of them
Gucci Man
posted: 09:52 am
Lets talk football , no rivals today bafwethu .
Deepest condolences to Madigage's family .

Time heals all the wounds
Animal1
posted: 09:52 am
May his Soul Rest In Peace
Nespray is a movie star look alike coach
posted: 09:53 am

KO editor

Thomas was a great man...i think it will do justice to us if you can atleast delay other articles on Thomas. the articles must be posted 2 hours afta the other rather than 2 minutes afta the other. this will allow us to comment...while im trying to comment on n article i find out that there is a new one.

thats jus my opinion though

RIP Thomas
Nespray is a movie star look alike coach
posted: 09:55 am
Gucci Man

on tonites game i disagree Khosi, LOL

but vele, Thomas is a man worthy of respect...and he shuld be treated wth such

umhlaba a ku noni
thuth teller
posted: 09:56 am
Wish PSL could postpone the game tonight in honour of this gentlemen.
This is endeed a dark day in footbal and no soccer related activities should take place.
#justsayin
S'javo
posted: 09:57 am
Eish what a loss of a gentleman,i dont even recall the time he attacked the referees or sabotage other coaches,guys like moloi and khumalo must take leaf out of this lad life.

RIP Madigage
Rattex-the-rat-killer
posted: 10:03 am
@Bizzabo1

Did there have to be a "but" in your statement? Nobody is disagreeing with you

Anyway, its a sad sad day for SA football. RIP TM
FUMABAZHE
posted: 10:05 am
On behalf of Fumabazhe The Rocks Football Club I would like to say dudu to his family and RIP big qhawe lethu

Gucci Man
posted: 10:05 am

Nespray is a movie star look alike coach

posted: 09:55 am | Report
Gucci Man
on tonites game i disagree Khosi, LOL
but vele, Thomas is a man worthy of respect...and he shuld be treated wth such
umhlaba a ku noni
.....................................................................................................................................................................
I'm serious bhakaniya today uGucci Man is very humble,level headed blogger . No trash talk from Gucci Man .....in respect to our assistant coach .
Nizoringa ijeje nani next week , vandag ngigrand outie yami
Thomas deserves our respect , for all his dedication in South African football, I take off my Gucci hat
Gucci Man
posted: 10:11 am
Our up-coming and learning coaches e.g Dr Khumalo,Ace Khuse,Tebogo Moloi,Clinton Larsen,Alfred Phiri,Shaun Bartlet ...e.t.c ....should definitely take a leaf from this guy.

Humbled , calm and not making headlines for wrong reasons on newspapers
Lekhozi..
posted: 10:12 am
Robala ka kgotso.
Dooba (Glory Reclaimed)
posted: 10:12 am
Gucci Man-

seconded khosi... i did not wake up today expecting this... truth be told, am still shocked!
Zane10
posted: 10:12 am
RIP Thomas Madigage and may his soul rest in peace... My deepest condolences to the Madigage family, aluhlanga lungehlanga... He was a true legend and a real role model, I wish all teams a nice flair of SA football dedicated to Madigage!!!!!!
Gucci Man
posted: 10:18 am
Dooba OPC
posted: 10:12 am | Report

Gucci Man-
seconded khosi... i did not wake up today expecting this... truth be told, am still shocked!
........................................................................................................................................................................
Sad indeed ........Dooba OPC,
we just have to keep our chins up ,and pay tribute to our legend
Sankara
posted: 10:26 am
Thank you KickOff for honouring Mr. Madigage. Soccerladuma does not even see this as big and sad story enough to warrant attention. Thank you. May his soul RIP
CFN739
posted: 10:31 am
robala ka kgotso Tommie re lla le wena ka mo Ga mokopane Ga Magongoa modimo a be le wena paradesing RE TLA GO GOPOLA GE LE HLABA LE GE LE DIKELA
Tolly.ba.Thathe
posted: 10:34 am
Champ-Marapoposted: 10:27 am | Report
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Like a true Champ. No wonder I am associated withintellectuals like you. However, I think Gucci has a point, just for the sake of the true champion, Madigage let's put our differences aside and pay tribute to him.

What do you remember of him('Chincha')?
Bizzabo1
posted: 10:47 am
I am in my Addidas Bafana Bafana Jersey in memory of Chincha

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