A brother, a mentor and my skipper
“Skipper was always working hard, on and off the pitch. On the field, he ran tirelessly because of his tremendous fitness and commitment,” comments Marks ‘Go-Man-Go’ Maponyane on Kaizer Chiefs’ legendary full-back and longest serving captain, Johannes ‘Ryder’ Mofokeng, who passed away on Saturday.
The former striker made his Amakhosi debut in 1981, eight years after Mofokeng, who became the club’s captain in 1975.
Maponyane fondly recalls how, in the weeks and months up to his debut for the Glamour Boys, while already training with the first team squad, Mofokeng would talk to him about a variety of aspects of the game of football.
“I remember Johannes ‘Ryder’ Mofokeng as a brother, a mentor and my skipper. When I joined Kaizer Chiefs, the skipper welcomed me and collected me at home for camping,” Maponyane looks back.
He also points out how “Ryder was always smiling and being very focussed. He spoke about respect and discipline as the cornerstones of success, which he practiced himself.”
The former prolific goalscorer highlights the captain’s words before every cup final: “Guys, we are playing in a cup final. You’re not playing for a box of Kentucky fried chicken; we play for boxes of tiles. We need to win!”
“I will always remember the good times we shared in the company of Sylvester ‘City’ Kole, Simon ‘Bull’ Lehoko, Leonard ‘Wagga Wagga’ Likoebe, Abednigo ‘Shaka’ Ngcobo, Jackie ‘Asinamali’ Masike and Frank ‘Jingles’ Pereira, just to mention a few,” Maponyane concludes.
“We were teammates, brothers, family and colleagues with a common goal.
“Robala ka kgotso my brother, my skipper, my mentor.
“Mofokeng o wele. RIP Phoka, you have run your race.”