Toy loved soccer, church

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

While people around the world celebrated the start of the New Year, Lionel "Toy" Maphunye's family mourned his death.

Maphunye, 42, died on January 1 after a short illness.

His close friend, George "Soekkies" Mogotsi, said Maphunye was a soccer lover and a great believer in giving to the community.

"He loved soccer. He knew it, talked it and lived it," Mogotsi said.

Though great friends, Mogotsi and Maphunye played for rival teams while growing up.

"In the 1970s and 1980s, he played for Rockville Hungry Lions and I played for Santos. Playing for rival teams did not stop us from being great friends."

Their friendship was cemented by the Jabavu Methodist Church.

Maphunye was a full member of the church and member of the Young Men's Guild - Amadodana aseWesile.

He was born in Rockville, Soweto, in 1965. He started his primary education at Thusanang Lower Primary and matriculated at Seanamarena High School.

He started Lionel Maphunye Property Developments, which build and sold houses.

He is survived by a son, two daughters, mother and a sister.

Maphunye will be buried at West Park cemetery tomorrow. The service will start at the Jabavu Methodist Church at 8am.