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Tshwane honours Lucas 'Masterpieces' Moripe

Posted: 5 May 2010 Time: 13:13

The Atteridgeville Super Stadium will finally be renamed after legendary Pretoria soccer player Lucas 'Masterpieces' Moripe.

This follows a meeting between the Lucas Moripe Foundation, family members, and the former player this week where it was agreed that no conditions be attached to the renaming, as it was an honour for Moripe, and an acknowledgement of his contribution to soccer in both the city and the country.

The formal announcement of the renaming will take place at the stadium on May 16 during a Women's Prayer Day which will be attended by President Jacob Zuma and Tshwane Mayor Dr Gwen Ramokgopa.

The occasion will be a prayer day for a successful Fifa World Cup and for success for Bafana Bafana.

As the stadium is in the final preparations for the World Cup, the event will be confined to the grandstand, and there will be no access to the pitch.

Moripe was probably the greatest ball player the country has known, and during the early 70's, fans called him "The god of football". Defenders feared him, and goalies simply dreaded his brilliant touches.

In his recently published book on South African soccer Mzansi Magic, Joe Latakgomo recalls how Moripe was introduced to soccer fans following an article by Elliot Makhaya in The World newspaper.

"It is not an exaggeration to say that waves and waves of soccer fans made their way to the stadium (to watch Moripe in action)…Shebeens rapidly emptied and 'Ada' – as Moripe's local supporters called him – was the sole subject of animated discussion along the streets leading to the stadium," Latakgomo writes.

Moripe played for Pretoria Callies and led the team to several memorable victories over clubs like Orlando Pirates, Pimville United Brothers and Kaizer Chiefs.

In 1973, he played for the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) Invitation Xl against a selected British All Stars Xl led by Rodney Marsh.

His display earned him both the Sportsman of the Year title in 1973, and a stint for Caroline Hills in Hong Kong.

Moripe built up a legion of fans throughout the country, and it is often argued that if he had been born in Johannesburg, he would have been acknowledged even more.

In fact, Johannesburg soccer fans named him "Soweto", and claimed him as their own. He single-handedly filled the Orlando Stadium when Callies played there – and once, when he was injured and there was doubt whether he would play, fans waited outside the stadium to confirm whether he would be playing before they paid to get into Orlando Stadium.

The renaming of the stadium is the second honour for Moripe in Atteridgeville.

A street has already been named after him, but as he will mostly be remembered for his soccer contribution for the city, the honour to rename the stadium is appropriate.

Moripe, who had been confined to a wheel chair for some years following a mild stroke and the effects of a long-term injury to his knee, is barely able to walk following an operation at Baragwanath Hospital.

Previous comments on this story...

posted: 01:46 pm
Not to be disrespectful but why not build something new and name it after the legend? This ‘renaming’ is getting on my last nerve. I can’t take this any more. What will the city let alone Atteridgeville gain in this renaming? Yes Nothing, since stadium is there already. Why not build a sporting facility from scratch and name it Lucas 'Masterpieces' Moripe. Builders will get jobs and the new centre will uplift the people of the city.
posted: 01:54 pm
At last it is happening. I grew up in Pheli and I was disappointed when Moripe attached conditions to this offer previously. At last sanity has prevailed and I support the renaming. Let us honour our legends while they are still alive. Long live Modimo wa Bolo
posted: 02:11 pm
broke fan i agree with u
posted: 02:49 pm
Another honour for Modimo wa diski will be to revive Pretoria Callies(Up the Romans ka bo Blue).While Trott is busy messing around with Downs some of us will be happy to follow the Romans in NFD to relieve stress.Come on BEE guys is time to give back to the community.Attridge & the surrounding Townships have a lot of talent & this kids will benefit a lot.

Long Live Magwegwe
Swona Champ!
posted: 03:07 pm
I wish those who are honaring this guy can also remember Steve Mokone, not to take anything away from masterpieces' honor!
Swona Champ!
posted: 03:08 pm
while he's still alive, it will mean a lot to him!!!!
posted: 03:09 pm
In 1973, he played for the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) Invitation Xl against a selected British All Stars Xl led by Rodney Marsh.

In 1973 and he is honored now. What about the other great players that have been around, are they going to be honored as well.

Swona Champ!
posted: 03:10 pm
I know SAFA, the old and the NEW dont want to hear anything about that name including SA bias Media, electronic and print, yet no one in SA has walked the parth Steve walked, not even Jomo!
posted: 03:30 pm
It looks like we gonna have all the places in SA named after so and so.....kanti kwenzakalani vele?????
Swona Champ!
posted: 03:32 pm
Italian soccer writer Beppe Branco famously wrote: "If Pele of Brazil is the Rolls-Royce of soccer players, Stanley Matthews of England the Mercedes-Benz and Alfredo di Stefano of Argentina and Spain the Cadillac of soccer players, then Kala of South Africa, lithe and lean, is surely the Maserati."

posted: 03:51 pm
SIBUSISO:2010-05-05 15:30

It looks like we gonna have all the places in SA named after so and so.....kanti kwenzakalani vele?????

Sbuda,they want
rename South also.
Africa. In few years
to come South Africa will
be Azania.

I don't want to be
an Azanian.
posted: 05:16 pm
swona, i'm with u there. I thought Super will 1 day be renamed Mokone-Moripe Stadium but as usual Kalamazoo is being disregarded despite being THE BEST Mzansi footballer ever. Full stop.
posted: 07:06 pm
This guy was arguably the greatest soccer player to ever come out of R.S.A. My dad, who loves Jomo morethan anything and a staunch Bucs supporters tells me that he is yet to see a more talented player, he says Modimo wa Bolo was the greatest. I've never seen him play bt from what i've heard, he is the greatest.
posted: 08:38 am
Wonder, I have seen "Ditoki toki" play, and during his era he was a marvel.I tell you he was amazing and he contributed a lot to soccer in Att/ville. He deserves the honour. I am not against honouring the great Kalamazoo, but does it mean Moripe should not be honoured? I dont think so. let us honour him as well... of hoe se ek??
The Ghost
posted: 03:34 pm
A befitting honor to a great man indeed ... one shudders to think what would have happened if players like Masterpieces Moripe were still active today, and were part of the world cup squad? God help Mexico and others!!!
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