Phil Masinga, former South Africa and Leeds United star, dies at 49

Phil Masinga, former South Africa and Leeds United star, dies at 49

He also scored the decisive goal against Congo which sealed South Africa's qualification for the 1998 World Cup, the first time they had qualified for the tournament.

"I am really gutted".

During the same year, the tall striker helped coach Clive Barker's Bafana lift the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations trophy on home soil and it remains the country's only continental trophy triumph to date.

"I saw him last Sunday before I flew to Dakar (for Confederation of African Football activities) and although Phil was not feeling well, he was in good spirits".

Despite Masinga not delivering the goals Leeds hoped for he was still immensely popular at the club.

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Radebe went on to become an icon at Leeds, a club captain and ambassador who was recognised as one of the Premier League's leading centre-backs, but Masinga's two years at Elland Road earned him some affection.

Many people took to Twitter to reminisce about "Chippa".

"Chippa" as Masinga was popularly known in football circles, died of a cancer-related disease at a Johannesburg hospital on Sunday morning. He was in the team in 1992 when South Africa played its first game after being allowed back into global soccer.

Masinga's former Leeds team-mates also paid emotional tributes to the striker. "Football will never forget you. The thoughts of everyone at #LUFC are with his family and friends‚" the club tweeted. He featured in the South Africa side that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996 and when when Bafana Bafana finished second to Egypt in the 1998 tournament.