Ria Ledwaba pays tribute to former Bafana coach April 'Styles' Phumo
Posted: 28 November 2011 Time: 13:52
Former Ria Stars boss Ria Ledwaba has paid tribute to former Bafana Bafana coach April 'Styles' Phumo who passed away at the weekend after a long battle with cancer.
Phumo made his name as a coach at Manyora during 2001 and 2002 after turning the Limpopo-based side into formidable team in the PSL before the club was sold back to the PSL and closed in an effort to reduce the number of teams in the League. 'Bra Styles' also coached Bloemfontein Celtic and Nathi Lions in his career, but it was at Ria Stars that he gained a reputation of playing entertaining football. Speaking to KickOff.com, Ledwaba , who was known as the First Lady in South African football during those times, said she was at a loss of words to describe her feelings about the passing of Phumo. "I was shocked when I got the bad news yesterday. I spoke to him only last month," said Ledwaba. "He made a great contribution to South African football, especially at my team where groomed a lot of youngsters. "He didn't pick his team on names, but selected hard-working players. I also respected him in terms of his working with assistant coaches. He always involved them and never treated them as ball boys." Orlando Pirates captain Luckly Lekgwathi also shared good memories of Phumo whilst working together at Manyora. "He was a father figure to me and always encouraged me to work hard so as to to play for Bafana Bafana one day. I was happy that I ended up meeting him again when I started playing for Bafana," says Lekgwathi.