Namibian side FC Civics have revealed how they assisted the late Lucky Maselesele with a route back into football and to complete his studies, following a two-year drug ban.
'Romza' as Maselesele was known passed away in Tsutsumani, Alexandra at the age of 41 last week Wednesday.
Maselesele was banned for two years for cocaine use in February 2009 during a routine drug test after a match against Bidvest Wits in November 2008.
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His last appearance in the top-flight was in the colours of Maritzburg United against Free State Stars on December 6, 2008.
At the end of his ban, he moved to Namibian club Civics where his career ended in 2011.
"We had Ali Akan who coached him at FC AK in South Africa and so when his cocaine ban came to an end, he needed a team to play for so that he could get back into the game and improve his match fitness. So, that was when Ali Akan brought him to the club," Donnelly Nell, chairman of Civics tells KickOff.com.
"It was huge for us to have a player that we knew from television while playing for Kaizer Chiefs. When I heard he was coming I couldn't wait to meet him because I had only seen him on television.
"It was big for all of us and when he came here, we were in relegation trouble, but he rescued us on the last day by scoring the winning goal. If it wasn't for that goal and other results had gone against us, we would have been relegated.
"While he was here with is he never missed training and was always keen to fit in with the rest of the team. Ahead of the last game of the season when we were stressing about relegation he was laughing in the bus and then next he scores the winning goal.
"He then had to go back to South Arica because he was going to graduate because while he was here with us, he was also completing his studies. What made the offer attractive for him was that he could study while he was with us, and we helped him financially to pay for his studies.
"In coming to us he just wanted to get out of the environment back home just to play football again. You would have expected that as someone who played for Kaizer Chiefs before and then comes to Civics he would be pompous, but he wasn’t. Not even a bit," says Akan.
Maselesele also featured for teams such as Kaizer Chiefs, Seven Stars, Manning Rangers, Zulu Royals, Black Leopards, City Pillars, Yenicami Agdelen (Turkish Cypriot League), Thanda Royal Zulu, FC AK and Maritzburg United.