Hunt, Radebe, ‘Simply Carol’ lead tributes to Luke Fleurs as Chiefs confirm passing

04 April 2024 - 08:37
By Marc Strydom
Luke Fleurs during the warm-up for Kaizer Chiefs' DStv Premiership match against Lamontville Golden Arrows at FNB Stadium on March 5.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images Luke Fleurs during the warm-up for Kaizer Chiefs' DStv Premiership match against Lamontville Golden Arrows at FNB Stadium on March 5.

The player's former coach at SuperSport United Gavin Hunt, TV presenters Carol Tshabalala and Thomas Mlambo, Bafana Bafana legend Lucas Radebe and a number of Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs have paid tribute to slain Kaizer Chiefs player Luke Fleurs.

News broke on Wednesday night of Fleurs' death earlier that day after being shot in a hijacking in Johannesburg. Reports were the botched hijacking took pace in Honeydew.

The 24-year-old centreback and junior international joined Chiefs in October after leaving SuperSport, where he played 70 matches, in September.

Chiefs confirmed the news on Thursday morning.

“It is with a great deal of sadness that we announce that Kaizer Chiefs player Luke Fleurs tragically lost his life last night during a hijacking incident in Johannesburg,” the club posted on X.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

“The SAPS are handling the matter and further details will be communicated in due course.

“May his dear soul rest in peace.”

Hunt posted on X: “RIP boy! Fly high. Condolences to the Fleurs family.”

Former SuperSport coach Kaitano Tembo, who also coached Fleurs, posted: “Luke no man.”

SuperSport football presenter Tshabalala, popularly known as “Simply Carol”, posted: “Absolutely shocked to hear the heartbreaking news of Luke Fleurs' untimely passing. The football family has lost a bright flame. May he rest in peace.

“Heartfelt prayers, strength and condolences to the family.”

Mlambo, another SuperSport presenter, wrote: “Death be not proud, rest in peace Luke Fleurs.”

Former Leeds United, Chiefs and Bafana star Radebe wrote: “Very sad indeed. Crime is on another level, another talent gone so soon. My condolences @KaizerChief and the Family of Luke Fleurs.”

Sports minister Zizi Kodwa weighed in with: “I am saddened by the passing of @KaizerChiefs defender and former junior international Luke Fleurs.

“I am saddened that yet another life has been cut short due to violent crime. My thoughts are with the Fleurs and Amakhosi family and the entire South African football fraternity.”

Many PSL clubs added their condolences.

Cape Town City posted: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of Kaizer Chiefs defender Luke Fleurs.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to Fleurs' family, friends, and the broader South African football community during this difficult time.”

Lamontville Golden Arrows posted: “We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Kaizer Chief defender Luke Fleurs. To his family, friends and everyone @KaizerChiefs, we at Golden Arrows send our deepest sympathy and condolences.”

Fleurs had not yet played for Chiefs but was nearing a debut at the Soweto giants.

The PSL said a moment of silence will be held at this weekend's DStv Premiership games.

“The PSL is shocked and saddened by the tragic passing of Kaizer Chiefs defender Luke Fleurs,” the league said.

“In this moment of profound loss, the PSL extends deepest sympathies to Kaizer Chiefs Football Club, the Fleurs family, and the entire football community.

“In tribute to Luke's memory, a moment of silence will be observed at all DStv Premiership, Motsepe Foundation Championship, and DStv Diski Challenge fixtures this weekend.

“May his soul repose peacefully.”