Lekoelea: Why I chose to leave Pirates

Premiership

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Steve Lekoelea has revealed the truth about why he rejected Irvin Khoza to join Maritzburg United more than 10 years ago.

Lekoelea left Pirates in 2005 under a dark cloud after turning down an offer from the club chairman to join the Team of Choice, where he spent three seasons before joining Platinum Stars.

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'Chippa' reveals that Maritzburg gave him an amount of money he could not refuse.

"I left Pirates to join Maritzburg United because of money. It was nothing except money. Those people gave me money before I could even sign," Lekoelea tells KickOff.com.

"I drove down to Durban in the morning and before I could even sign they gave me money. I drove back to Johannesburg the same day carrying the money.

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"That was even before I could do some other stuff like medicals. Before I could sign I was already having the money. I can't tell you the amount but it was a lot of money.

"I enjoyed my stay there even though the club didn't have many good players that time."

Lekoelea was the last player to wear the famous jersey number 10 at Pirates after the legendary Jomo Sono and still holds great memories of his time with the Soweto giants.

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"I don't have any regrets about my stay at Pirates. I enjoyed myself at the club. The club still holds a special place in my heart," says Lekoelea.

"I have special memories with that number 10. Remember I also wore jersey 110 at Pirates. It was only me and Jomo to wear jersey 110.

"I saw the debate about the jersey 10 at Pirates. It's up to Dr Irvin Khoza to decide if he wants to bring it back."

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The 41-year-old former Bafana Bafana midfielder is back at home in Vaal after recently completing a coaching course.

"I am preparing to venture into coaching," he adds. "I want to focus on the youngsters."

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