South Africans are paying tribute to goalkeeping star Brilliant Khuzwayo, who is going into early retirement due to a longterm ankle injury.
The Orlando Pirates keeper, 29, has been unable to feature for the club since his transfer from Kaizer Chiefs early last season.
Fans became anxious about his fate when his name went missing from the Buccaneers’ list of goalkeepers on its official website early this week.
The Bucs finally announced on Wednesday that Khuzwayo has been forced into early retirement.
In an interview with the club, Khuzwayo expressed disappointment, but said he had accepted his fate.
I would like to thank all the supporters who have been behind me from the day I joined this club.
They were the main reason behind my motivation and drive to get better. They’ll always hold a special place in my heart.Brilliant Khuzwayo
Khuzwayo’s former club Amakhosi sent him their best wishes and applauded him for serving football “with discipline, distinction and dedication.”
Fellow goalkeeper Brylon Petersen also conveyed his best wishes.
To the man that fuelled my passion for the game when I met him as a teenager, I say thank you!
Thank you for taking a young goalkeeper under your wing and helping him flourish. I will always appreciate your input brother. I know you are going to excel!Brylon Petersen
Popular actress Nomzamo Mbatha wished Khuzwayo “strength and stamina” in a heartfelt message.
As a testimony to Khuzwayo’s popularity and inspirational story, Twitter is awash with encouraging messages to him.
Hearing that Brilliant Khuzwayo is going into early retirement due to an injury was quite disheartening.
I remember how his passion and love for soccer came through in our discussion on this day.@Noni_rad
A hero. A soldier. A friend. Keep strong bro. Gods plan.Sabelo Madi
All the best in your future endeavours, Khuzwayo!
We’re certain that with your talents and determination to succeed, you’ll excel just as you did on the pitch.