John ‘Shoe’ Moshoeu: Five years on since the Bafana legend passed away

By Muambo Edward,

It’s been five years to this day, since one of Africa’s best football feet and brain left the stage — former Bafana Bafana playmaker John ‘Shoe’ Lesiba Moshoeu, who died after a long battle with stomach cancer, aged 49 on April 21, 2015.

The highly gifted native of Ga-Mashashane came through the ranks of Blue Whales and Kaizer Chiefs before playing almost 600 league games, scoring 152 goals for eight clubs in South Africa and Turkey, from 1987 to 2014.

In action during the 1998 FIFA World Cup in

John Moshoeu was one of the standout players for South Africa in their 1996 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) triumph on home soil. He made 73 appearances for Bafana Bafana scoring eight goals.

Moshoeu began his professional career with Giant Blackpool, before moving to Kaizer Chiefs for his first spell with the Soweto giants.


A move to Turkey followed when he signed for Gençlerbirligi, then Kocaelispor, Fenerbahçe and Busaspor before returning to Chiefs in 2003.

After three years he moved to Amazulu where he spent two years before joining Alexandra United in a player-manager capacity.


John Moshoeu represented South Africa in six major international tournaments, notably in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France and he is on record as the oldest player to have represented South Africa.

He made his debut for them on January 3, 1993 against Botswana and played his last game on March 31, 2004 against Nigeria — aged 38.

Advertisement and the entire African football family mourns this African football great, who left an indelible mark locally and internationally.