Bay Retire Mtolo’s Shirt Number
Richards Bay chairman Sifiso Biyela has confirmed that Siphamandla Mtolo’s number 4 shirt will not be worn by another player within the club.
Biyela said the number has officially been retired by the club after their star midfielder sadly passed away on Tuesday.
The former Thanda Royal Zulu CEO confirmed this during the funeral service of Mtolo, who was laid to rest on Sunday in the Northern part of KwaZulu-Natal.
Mtolo collapsed on the pitch during the team’s training on Tuesday and was declared dead before arriving at the hospital.
Club general manager Jeffrey Fakude, in paying tribute to the midfielder, said Mtolo’s passing happened when the training on Tuesday was about to finish.
“We pumped him for 30 minutes but we were not successful,” Fakude said on the stage.
Mtolo was described by chairman Biyela as the “heartbeat of the club”, comparing him to Italian World Cup winner’s grafter – Gennaro Gattuso, former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, former Orlando Pirates midfielder Mlungisi ‘Pro’ Gumbi, Pirates’ Makhehleni Makhaula, Tlakusani Mthethwa of Swallows and Sibongiseni Mthwethwa of Stellenbosch, because of his work rate.
He said he was the best in protecting his back four, having sadly missed him in the first half of the season due to an ACL injury he suffered during the off season.
In fact, according to the chairman, Mtolo was supposed to miss the entire season, having been informed by doctors about the extent of the injury, but he was back in training within four months.
But again the injury flared up at training before recovering when the season was paused during the FIFA World Cup break in November and December.
Mtolo was the club’s cult hero and legend after he captained Bay last season on their way to gain promotion, starting in 29 league matches as the Natal Rich Boyz edged University of Pretoria for the number one spot in the last game of last season.
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