Nkambule gave his all to growing soccer

Danny Magudulela

Danny Magudulela

The Ekurhuleni sports fraternity has been robbed of popular football and development coach Mandla "Cheesa" Nkambule

Nkambule was born in Diepkloof, Soweto, on November 25 1959. He died at the OR Tambo Memorial Hospital after a long illness.

A master tactician, Nkambule attended Dumezweni and Vulamazibuko primary schools.

He completed his secondary education at Msebe High School in Nongoma KwaZulu-Natal.

His love for soccer saw him establish the Wattville Watford Football Club. A Safa level-two coach, he started his soccer career as a player for Amazulu, playing at right back.

He later broke away to form Watford, which became the university of soccer on the East Rand.

As chairman of the Benoni Football Association for 15 years, Nkambule produced the likes of Sundowns maestro Surprise Moriri, Humphrey Mlwane of Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows, former Bafana Bafana and Sundowns star, Isaac Shai and goal-getter Pollen Ndlanya.

He also coached at regional level at Safa in Ekurhuleni.

It was not surprising when he was offered the job of national Under-23 kit manager when Amagluglug was still coached by Shakes Mashaba.

Among his achievements he led Benoni Highlanders from the Vodacom league to the Mvela league. He also won the Benoni Champs of Champs and Ibhola lethu three times and the lucrative Nanas Cup of Benoni.

He motivated his players to pursue an education, producing lawyers such as Vusi Sibeko and Zero Radebe from his stable.

A memorial service will be held at the Anglican Church tomorrow from 2pm. He will be buried on Saturday at the Van Dyck Cemetery in Actonville.