Footballer of distinction

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

One of the most exciting footballers of his time, Eric Kahlolo Nono Motapanyane has died.

Motapanyane, 46, of Orlando West, died at Helen Joseph Hospital after a long illness.

He was a gentleman, soft-spoken and a footballer par excellence. Those who knew him would go and watch him in action at the dusty grounds of Mzimhlophe in Soweto, during his playing days.

Motapanyane, better known as Nono, was very quiet and one would not think he would say boo to a goose. His feet did the talking on the pitch.

He was one of the thrilling footballers on the field of play. Some of his former teammates say he could play anywhere on the pitch, except goalkeeping.

He was his side's engine room and a pillar of strength. He played for a number of amateur teams in the township, among them Zulu Messengers, Mzimhlophe Rangers and BMW Drillers before he hung up his boots due to a knee injury.

He was a very skilful player.

With his dribbling wizardry and soccer prowess, he was among top goalscorers and one of the best ball distributors and most exciting ball jugglers in his days.

Born in Orlando West in 1962, he attended Thabaneng Lower Primary School in Killarney.

He later enrolled at Thutolore Senior Secondary School in Meadowlands for matric.

He is survived by his wife Motshabi, two children, two brothers and two sisters. Motapanyane will be buried at Roodepoort Cemetry tomorrow. The service will be held at home at 8am and the cortege at 10am.