Mathobela took ill at home in late July. He was hospitalised shortly after that and succumbed this past Sunday.
Dickson Mathobela the late coach of Galeshewe Ldies FC. Picture: Supplied
Tributes kept pouring in on social media from the football fraternity, friends and family of the late Dalton Brothers football player and owner of Galeshewe Ladies Football Club Dickson “Makua” Mathobela, who passed away on Sunday at Curomed hospital from Covid-19 complications.
Mathobela’s fiancee Tots Khosholo confirmed his passing on Monday. She said he took ill at home in late July. He was hospitalised shortly after that and succumbed this past Sunday.
Mathobela was an avid footballer, turning out for both his school teams at Sol Plaatje Higher Primary and Tidimalo Junior Secondary. He also played in the junior side of Dalton Brothers FC – a former professional side now campaigning in the SA Football Association leagues in the Northern Cape.
Before retiring sometime in the early 2000s Mathobela had set up his own ladies football team as soon as this was feasible in 1993. He established Galeshewe Ladies FC which he also coached, managed, trained and served as the team’s driver using his own transport.
Fellow football team manager Ace Mofokeng of Royal Wizards FC fondly recalled Mathobela’s exploits with his side. As of 1993 Mathobela’s side played in the local football association. Royal Wizards played so well that they won the local league and eventually ended up as provincial champions in those early years.
Mofokeng said this afforded the team invites to national football play-offs during that period.
Galeshewe Ladies was later incorporated into the Sanlam-sponsored league around 2002. This was the forerunner of the present national Sasol Women’s League. At some point, Galeshewe Ladies won the provincial championship of the province in the Sasol League.
Later when cellular phone network provider Vodacom took over sponsoring women’s football in 2005 Mathobela’s team was among those selected to play in that league. This latter carried to the Sasol league in 2009. Vodacom’s sponsorship expireds in 2008.
Galeshewe Ladies won their way into the semi-professional stakes of the Sasol sponsored women’s league and stayed there for 11 years. Mathobela was knowledgeable and fortunate in most aspects of the game, he managed to get some of his players to receive national camp call-ups from Safa as a precursor to playing for Banyana Banyana.
The Galeshewe Ladies club football venture was a pure loss-making engagement but Mathobela would hear none of it. Often when the subject of the paltry stipend from Safa to the women’s league came up Mathobela would point out that his involvement in football was not for the money but rather to get especially female youngsters involved in football.
Mathobela will be laid to rest on Saturday morning from his family home in Retswelele.