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Dearnaley on Shoes – He Was Just Genuine

Former teammate George Dearnaley has paid to tribute to the late Bafana Bafana legend Shoes Moshoeu, on the sixth anniversary of his passing.

John ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu, one of the greatest players to don the South African kit, sadly passed away on the 21st of April, 2015 after losing his battle to cancer. He was just 49.

The gifted midfielder had only retired from the professional game seven years before and had played professionally until he was 42.

It was an illustrious career that saw the former Giant Blackpool, Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu player also spend many years in Turkey, playing for giants Fenerbahce, as well as Genclerbirligi, Kocaelispor and Bursaspor. 

After his ‘retirement’ he continued to play in the lower leagues for Alexandra United, where he was both coach and player.

Moshoeu also of course won the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations with Bafana, and all in all he played 73 times for South Africa, scoring eight goals, and creating many, many more.He was a key member of the squad that went to the World Cup finals in 1998.

Dearnaley has nothing but fond memories of Moshoeu, who was his opponent at club level, national teammate and a good friend.

“Ja,  just such a great human being you know, just a really great South African guy, Dearnaley told iDiski Times. 

“I don’t think there’s anybody who ever played with him or against him that has good a bad word to say about him, that’s always the mark of a guy.” 

“He was just genuine. He cared, he was interested in you, he had no ego at all. And yet, he was this absolutely phenomenal player.“ 

“And my football anecdote about him was one of my first few games for AmaZulu we played Giant Blackpool in Durban 1992 and they got a free kick about 40 yards out, and Shadrack Biemba was calling for five in the wall. 

“And I remember going to the wall and saying to Shadrack, you don’t need five, look where the ball is, so kind of pushed two of the guys out the wall. 

“And this skinny little guy absolutely rifled one over the wall into the far top corner, and Shadrack was saying to me, ‘Georgie I said five, I said five’.” 

“And I thought who the hell was that, and he said that’s Shoes.” 

Rob Delport
Rob Delport
Rob Delport is a walking football encyclopedia, having been a mainstay in the Cape Town football scene for years. Rob has previously worked for SABC and various websites and publications across Africa, as well as being the South African Head Researcher for Football Manager and doing a similar role occasionally for EA Sports FIFA. Highly respected, Rob is now a senior iDiski Times website and newspaper writer, and is also responsible for the newspaper's editorial.