Yster was a great soccer star

THE community of Shihosani village near Malamulele in Limpopo bid goodbye to a well-known soccer star.

THE community of Shihosani village near Malamulele in Limpopo bid goodbye to a well-known soccer star.

So popular was Andrew Mabasa, 44, that most locals did not know his real family name. He was simply called Yster. Soccer fans used to scream this name when he displayed his unique skills in football.

His passion blossomed at an early age when he joined Hosana Sotos.

His rare type of showmanship led to all the football clubs around Giyani and Malamulele fighting to sign him for their clubs.

Yster was a professional who was also able to develop young players by giving them soccer kits and warning them to refrain from alcohol and drug abuse.

Between 1988 and 1990, while he was still at Photani High School, he was asked to represent the former Gazankulu homeland's Malamulele Football Association where he scooped various awards.

Jomo Cosmos boss Jomo Sono spotted the talented youngster while scouting in the rural areas with Matlakala and Hellman Mkelele.

But things did not go well for Yster because he was too young at the time.

George Mabasa, who played with him, regarded Yster as one of the best players he ever met.

"If you go around Limpopo those who knew him will tell you how well he played," Mabasa said. "As a community we are very saddened by his passing."

Yster died last Friday at the Selby Hospital in Johannesburg after a short illness.

He will be buried this Saturday at Shihosani village. The service starts at 6.30am

He will always be remembered by his wife, two children and his friends, relatives and fans.

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