Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Shaun Bartlett has also paid his tributes to the deceased Golden Arrows defender Nkanyiso Mngwengwe, recalling how they never lost a match when the defender was in action.
‘Sgora’ passed away in the early hours of Monday morning and the former Abafana Bes’thende manager says the Cato Ridge-born player was a true professional and someone who rallied behind his teammates to succeed.
The Amakhosi manager joins many in the football fraternity in paying their last respects to the 30-year-old, who made a vital contribution to the club in the 2014/15 season.
“I’m deeply saddened and shocked to hear of the passing and sudden death of Nkanyiso Mngwengwe. He was affectionately known to everyone in the football fraternity as Sgora,” Bartlett told the media.
“When he came across my path in 2013, while still being an assistant coach Golden Arrows, I could see that this player was somebody that’s on a mission and he wanted to make a success of his career in football.
“When I became head coach in 2014, he became an integral part of our team in getting the club back to the PSL, and I think out of 30 games he played 25 and we never lost a game with him.
“That was the type of character he was – a true leader, a fighter, always willing to assist and help his teammates, and I think he wanted everybody just to be in the same mission as him as far as getting success were concerned.”
With coach Steve Komphela currently in charge of the Durban-based club, Mngwengwe was a key figure for the club but was recovering from injury at the time of his death, and the former Bafana Bafana striker says he will miss the determined player.
“He will be sorely missed. He’s a player that never wanted to miss a game, even when he was injured he always wanted to be available and to play, and I think for me that was the type of a person that he was not just on the field but also off the field as well,” added the Chiefs coach.
“Very reserved, very soft-spoken but when it comes to his career and his commitment to the game there was no question.
"He was always determined to make a difference and that for me will always last in my memories. I’d lastly like to convey my condolences to his family. May God give you strength and peace during this difficult time of the sudden shock of his passing.”