Friends, family pay tribute to ‘unique’ Fleurs

Amakhosi retire striker’s’ No 26 jersey

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Kaizer Chiefs defender Luke Fleurs was shot dead in a hijacking in Honeydew, Johannesburg.
Kaizer Chiefs defender Luke Fleurs was shot dead in a hijacking in Honeydew, Johannesburg.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

A few funny stories Kaizer Chiefs’  Brandon Petersen and Jesse Donn of SuperSport United shared about their slain friend, Luke Fleurs, at his memorial service at FNB Stadium on Thursday, gave substance to why he was “unique”.

At the start of the service, the room was subdued as Chiefs marketing director Jessica Motaung welcomed the mourners and asked for a double-barreled moment of silence to be observed also for the 23rd anniversary of the Ellis Park disaster. Forty-three fans lost their lives in a stampede during a Chiefs versus Orlando Pirates clash on April 11 2001.

“Luke was unique and never pretended to be someone he wasn’t. I remember one day on my way to training, I saw Luke’s message on the team’s WhatsApp group where he said he was stuck and I called him; he told me where he was. When I got there I found out that he had run out of fuel and he said ‘I thought my zero [on petrol tank] was going to take me to the garage’, that’s how he was… he believed in what he believed in,'” Petersen reminisced.

Donn, who became friends with Luke during their childhood days at Cape Ubuntu before they linked up again at Matsatsantsa, started his eulogy by saying “we’ll miss Luke for wearing the same clothes for many days”, leaving the room in stitches.

“My friend was unique in every aspect. Pelas [Fleurs nickname] was just full of life. Many people don’t know that he was a striker when he was 12 years old, that’s when we became friends,” Donn said.

Looking nothing like a parent who’s just lost his kid in the most tragic manner, Fleurs’ father Theodore Fleurs bravely told the grievers that his son was an “exceptional person”, lamenting that he had departed without giving him grandchildren.

At the end, Amakhosi football manager Kaizer Junior, surrounded by the whole first team squad and the technical panel on stage, announced that Fleurs’ jersey No 26 will be retired at the club as per the directive of his father and the founder of the club Kaizer Motaung Senior. The confirmation of Fleurs’ jersey being retired drew rounds of applause from the now cheerful crowd.

Fleurs’ former club SuperSport United brought their full squad, while Mamelodi Sundowns contingent led by Ronwen Williams, Teboho Mokoena, Grant Kekana and Sipho Mbule, who all played with Fleurs at SuperSport before crossing the road to Tshwane rivals, were also among the mourners. 

Fleurs was gunned down in a hijacking ordeal in Honeydew last week. The 24-year-old Mitchells Plain-born star will be laid to rest in Cape Town on April 20. Six suspects linked to his murder will appear in court on Friday after tbeing arrested in Slovoville, Soweto, in the early hours of Wednesday.

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