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RIP Thabang Lebese

Posted: 23 February 2012 Time: 09:19

Former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates midfielder Thabang Lebese has passed away.

‘Chillies’, as he was affectionately known in his heyday, was in and out of hospital recently suffering from an undisclosed illness and according to reports he could barely walk or talk when he was admitted to the Helen Joseph hospital a couple of months ago.

Lebese, who was 38 at the time of his death, will be best remembered for his days at Chiefs.

He made 220 appearances for ‘Amakhosi’, also coming off the bench a further 20 times, between 1993 and 2000, when he left to join Ria Stars.

Lebese moved to Orlando Pirates in 2001 after a brief spell with the now defunct Limpopo side, with whom he resurrected his flagging career.

In total, he played 279 top-flight matches over 13 years, but despite his obvious talent he only made one Bafana Bafana appearance in a 3-2 loss to Namibia in an international friendly in 1998.

Lebese admitted in his last interview with KICK OFF a couple of years ago that leaving Chiefs was a “wrong decision”.

“Leaving them was a big mistake… I made the wrong decision. I was not supposed to leave Chiefs. I grew up there and I was Thabang Lebese because of Kaizer Chiefs.

“But I was angry, because I wanted to play and I was not getting enough game-time and there was some friction between me and the coach, Muhsin Ertugral.

“Well, I thought I knew too much! I was thinking, because I’m Thabang Lebese, playing for a big team, I could do anything, but I was wrong,” Lebese said.

KICK OFF in its entirety send our heartfelt condolences to Lebese’s family. Rest in peace ‘Chillies’ and thank you for the memories.

Follow me on Twitter @TTM16

Previous comments on this story...

posted: 09:29 am
RIP Chilies,you will always be remembered for your skills.
Sanza da Fanatic!
posted: 09:29 am
If this is true, this site has killed one too many b4, RIP Chillies
Thuso Ntlhane
posted: 09:29 am
RIP Mr Lebese, you will always be remembered....your passing must be a lesson to others
posted: 09:32 am
Rest in peace khosi we as south african footbal lovers will remember u and thank u for your contribution in the beautiful game k4l
posted: 09:33 am
RIP THABANG LEBESE u will always be remembered by ur good job that u done, may ur soul rest in peace
posted: 09:35 am
akwehlanga lungehlanga ngithi umndeni awulale ngenxeba noma libuhlungu.
posted: 09:37 am
Ah, Eish.....Rest in peace Banda Lebese, we saw your best from esgela e-Madibane nakuma athletics, till Chiefs came along.

Thanks for all the memories mfethu you were a great sportsman, aluhlanga lungehlanga kwaba kwa-Lebese.
posted: 09:38 am
RIP Chillies
posted: 09:41 am
"REST IN PEACE, MR. Thabang Chillies Lebese" You'll be alwys rembered by Soccer Fans.
posted: 09:42 am
He came. He played his part. We learnt a lot from him. A gentle giant. May his soul rest in peace.
posted: 09:43 am
I liked u boy, u where my favourite player, for me u were better than most. Rip : psalm 27
posted: 09:43 am
Eish, go well my bra. i personally wont judge you for what happened in your life. jeremiah 5 says, i knew you before you were born, i structured you to suit the road that me, your God wants you to walk in the, people who dont have bohlale bja modimo will judge you, but i say, you were selected by God to be used as an example and a lesson to other people so, i am optimstic that he will welcome you with open hands. o vaye sharp my yona tsela.
posted: 09:43 am
Rest In Peace "BHAKANIYA" I remember ur winning goal at Palm brink stadium when we win league with Gordon agains ajax!ROBALA BOROKO CHILLIES!!!
posted: 09:44 am
RIP Banda, You were marvelous to watch, What i liked about you is that you never tried to engage yourself in criminal activities even when you were down.
posted: 09:45 am
This boy was great, the only player coming close to him is segolela. Rest in peace banda
Gucci Man
posted: 09:51 am
Rest in peace Thanang "Banda" Lebese

I remember your combination upfront with Pio Neguerio , the best
You were my favorite player , bengik'ncanywa outie yami

posted: 09:54 am
Lala ngoxolo mfo kaLebese. Will always have fond memories of the "Thabo thiba Thabang" era, thank you for all the memories
posted: 09:55 am
Awu THABO THIBA THABANG!rest in peace baba wel always remember u!
posted: 09:59 am
REST IN PEACE I will remember you always with combination of TTT

Sekgoka eka Hovheni
champ nespray is a movie star look-alike coach
posted: 10:01 am
thabang banda lebese who did once arrive

have now depaarted

and will be emfolded in the sole embrace of kind-ness that this earth has ever given to you

have a good journey

our prayers are wth u family and frends. RIP
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