Chiefs legend Johnson dies

ONE of the founding players of South African soccer giants Kaizer Chiefs, Thomas "Zero" Johnson, died in Johannesburg yesterday

Johnson suffered from prostate cancer.

Besides Chiefs, Johnson also played for Orlando Pirates and coached various clubs in Botswana. At the time of his death, Johnson was assisting in the development of the game at Dona's Mates Youth Academy in Orange Farm.

"He was passionate about the development of the game. 'My Hero' slept, ate and drank soccer," said the academy's chairperson James Shabangu.

Stanley "Screamer" Tshabalala, who was also present as a player when Chiefs were formed, described the death of Johnson as a big blow to soccer. "The man was a true professional who was committed to the beautiful game. He is one of the legends who contributed to the success of Chiefs and went on to play for Pirates."