MASERU — He was a football legend who died a pauper.
That’s the story of former Likuena and Linare midfielder Tšeliso “Bra Sax” Thejane who died last Monday at Mapoteng Hospital after a long illness.
Preliminary plans are that Bra Sax, 66, will be buried in Maputsoe this Saturday but his family is struggling to raise money for his burial.
His friend and former teammate, Mohaeka Molapo, told the Lesotho Times that they are now “calling on everyone who knew Bra Sax and well-wishers to help make his funeral a dignified one”.
“The family is already struggling to raise money (for his burial) hence there is need for all of us to donate something towards his burial,” he said.
Bra Sax, who is survived by a daughter, was unemployed in the last 10 years of his life.
Bra Sax, who apart from mesmerising opponents on the field and pleasing fans with his football skills, also loved playing the saxophone. He had been in and out of hospital in the three months leading to his death in the morning hours of last Monday.
Molapo said he met Bra Sax when he joined Linare in the 1960s.
“When I joined Linare in the 1960s, Bra Sax was an outstanding player. He showed his magic both at Linare and Likuena, then known as Lesotho Pick.
“There was nothing like Likuena then and people would go to the stadium just to watch Saxophone,” Molapo said.
He said had the late Bra Sax plied his trade today he would have played for many teams outside the country because of his immense talent.
During his stint as a national player, Bra Sax was well known for his “do not touch” style of play that gained him popularity among his fellow players and opponents.
He created a lot of space for himself which enabled him to avoid contact with opposition players and ultimately injuries.
Football administrator Mosebo Motsoasele said he knew Bra Sax way back in 1971 when he played both for Linare and Lesotho Pick.
“He would always tell us to try by all means to play his “do not touch” kind of football,” he said.
Motsoasele said this benefited his team because there was never a time Bra Sax would be hauled off the pitch because of injuries.
“He would position himself in a way that he would always find the ball on his own. In most cases he would pass the ball before his opponents got a chance to mark him or take it,” he said.