Honour for Pilane

The late Jacob Pilane, one of South Africa's soccer legends, is about to get recognition for the role he played in the development of the beautiful game in Northern Cape.

The late Jacob Pilane, one of South Africa's soccer legends, is about to get recognition for the role he played in the development of the beautiful game in Northern Cape.

Patrick Lenyibi, the executive mayor of Sol Plaatje municipality, revealed to Sowetan that the council has decided to introduce a development soccer tournament in honour of Pilane.

Lenyibi said the planned tournament will be one of the legacy projects of the 2010 World Cup in the municipality which has also produced soccer greats such as Scara Ginga and Jacob Lechuti.

"We will soon be introducing a school soccer tournament that will be known as the Jacob Pilane Challenge, it is a contribution by the municipality to revive soccer in black residential areas," said Lenyibi.

"We all know that school soccer was a big thing when some of us were growing up in the late 1970s, 80s and early 90s - there were no dull moments on Wednesday afternoons.

"Even some of the professional and semi- professional clubs would send their scouts to the school grounds. There was always new talent galore on display at school matches.

"We want to revive that soccer vibe in schools. The tournament will start this year, but the plan is to make it bigger and better as time goes on because we want it to identify and nurture talent in the municipality."

Lenyibi showered Pilane with praise for putting Sol Plaatje municipality on the map, adding that they will also honour other community members who contributed to nation building in the area.

Pilane was a member of the star-studded Phunya Selesele side that won the then Mainstay Cup in 1985 after defeating African Wanderers 2-1 in the final at Ellis Park Stadium.

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