Pooe was dedicated to family, work and football

Bongiwe Khumalo

Bongiwe Khumalo

Zacharia Tolo Pooe would have celebrated his 64th birthday on November 21.

The dedicated family man's wish to bring back his dead cousin Job Tabane's remains from Lusaka, Zambia, before he died did not materialise. Tabane was an ANC cadre who was killed in exile on July 9 1987.

Pooe died on November 10 at the Brenthurst Clinic in Johannesburg after a long illness.

After obtaining a Junior Certificate at Orlando West High School in Soweto in 1963, he started working for IBM. He worked for the information technology company for 30 years until IBM was taken over by International Services Machines. Pooe retired in October 2004.

Known as "Bra Zach", he had been involved in soccer since the early 1970s.

He was secretary and president of the Johannesburg Football Association and secretary of Soweto Football Association. He was also the vice president of the Soweto Sports Council.

Pooe played a vital role in setting up and running soccer competitions, such as the Phillips competition, and football coaching clinics in partnership with British Airways and Arsenal Football Club.

Pooe is survived by his wife Magdaline, two children, four brothers and grandchildren.

The service will tomorrow at 8am at Rhema Centre, Protea North, in Soweto. The cortege will leave for Lenasia Cemetery at 10am.