Cape sports fans bid farewell to two servants of their respective games, with the passing of long-serving Safa-Cape Town administrator Morné Barnes, 42, from Crawford, who died last week, and Manenberg’s Mervyn Stewart.
“Football was dealt another blow,” said Safa-Cape Town president Bennett Bailey, who described Barnes as a warrior. He said the game is poorer without him. Barnes was with the football governing body for more than two decades.
And, according to Bailey, was a true “engine room” of the association.
“He was an institution at Safa-Cape Town. He knew the organisation inside-out. He was more than a colleague, and we didn’t see this one coming. It is difficult to accept,” he said.
Bailey also noted that Barnes, despite his quietness, was more than just an average guy and that everyone in the Athlone area and beyond knew him.
His family founded Jamestown FC.
Meanwhile, Stewart, 53, who was buried last week, established the now-defunct Saints Basketball Club, in 1994, and introduced many youngsters to the game, at a time when there was no basketball being played in Manenberg.
In the last two years, he focused on bringing juniors in to the game.
“There are so many unsung heroes in our community,” said Alicedale Primary School teacher, Quentin Rapitse, who played under Stewart.
“Many people achieved success through his inspiration and influence, “ he said.