Legendary footballer John “Shoes” Moshoeu has passed away. The Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana stalwart finally succumbed to his battle with cancer, at the age of 49.
The man better known as “Shoes” had a stellar career for both club and country. His list of achievements includes winning the Turkish league title, PSL title and the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996. The midfielder was known for his silky skills and his knack of scoring goals.
Born in the township of Soweto in 1965, Moshoeu started his club career at Giant Blackpool. He eventually earned a move to SA football giants, Kaizer Chiefs, but was soon on his way overseas, with a move to the Turkish league. He spent more than 10 years in Turkey, playing for various teams including Turkish giants, Fenerbahce FC. After a highly successful stint overseas, Moshoeu, already aged 37, returned to South Africa. He was signed by his former club Kaizer Chiefs and went on to play for 3 successful years at the club. Despite his age, Shoes still played a vital role in helping his team achieve major honours. During his time at the club (2003-2006), Amakhosi captured 2 league trophies, the ABSA Cup (Nedbank Cup) and the Coca Cola Cup (Mtn 8). He then remarkably went on to join another PSL team, AmaZulu, at the age of 40. He featured in more than 50 games in his two year stint at the Durban based side but eventually hung up his boots. He retired from professional football aged 42.
However, this was not the last we would see of Shoes on the football field. A few years later, he returned to action to play for Alexandra FC, a 2nd division club which he co-owned with fellow Bafana Bafana teammate, Brian Baloyi. He played for the club until May 2014, when he finally called it a day on his football career.
At international level, Moshoeu was part of South Africa’s 1996 Afcon winning team. He highlighted his pedigree and class by scoring some crucial goals during Bafana Bafana’s victorious Afcon campaign. He netted goals in the group stage against Cameroon, scored the winner in the quarter-finals against Algeria and then scored a brace in the semi-final against Ghana. He ended up as the 2nd leading goal scorer of the tournament, with 4 goals. He then went on to represent South Africa at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He amassed 73 caps for Bafana Bafana and scored 8 goals for his country.
Shoes will always be remembered for his silky skills and longevity in the beautiful game. He has made a significant contribution to South African football and has left us with great memories of his sublime football talent.