Luke Fleurs was going to make Chiefs debut against Chippa: Kaizer Jnr

12 April 2024 - 08:00
By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Taybah Fleurs, Luke Fleurs' cousin, arrives at the memorial service for the slain Kaizer Chiefs defender at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
Image: ALAISTER RUSSELL Taybah Fleurs, Luke Fleurs' cousin, arrives at the memorial service for the slain Kaizer Chiefs defender at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

Kaizer Chiefs defender Luke Fleurs was in line to make his long-awaited debut against Chippa United before he met his untimely death at the hands of hijackers in Johannesburg last week. 

Fleurs, 24, was hijacked and shot dead at a petrol station in Honeydew last Wednesday. 

Speaking at Fleurs’ memorial service at FNB Stadium on Thursday, Chiefs’ sporting director Kaizer Motaung Jnr said the former SuperSport United and South African junior international was going to be in the team to face Chippa. 

“That is a crazy one and it is sad he didn't get the chance. We are not only going to dedicate every game to Luke but also to our supporters and everyone who is behind the team. 

“He would give his best at training, and unfortunately he couldn’t go out there and wear the jersey and show the people what he could for the club.

"He was going to play. Sifiso Hlanti didn't travel with the team and the plan was [Edmilson] Dove was going to play left-back and Luke was going to start [at centreback]. He was definitely going to play.” 

Motaung said it was the decision of the players to play the match against Chippa shortly after Fleur’s death. 

“That came from the players themselves. There is no right or wrong at this point in time. We let them have the freedom to tell us how they feel and they said Luke would have wanted them on the pitch. The result was not what we wanted to take home but it was commendable from the players to play.” 

Motaung said the number 26 jersey will be retired at the club. 

“ It was a no-brainer and we felt we want to use this as an opportunity to be able to deal with the bigger problem of crime in the country. That jersey will be hung up in the changing room. His chair will always be left empty and moving forward we are going to have many other things to honour Luke. 

“Everyone had to understand the magnitude of this situation because this has never happened before at the football club. We are here on the day where we lost 43 of our fans at the Ellis Park disaster but there has never been a situation in our change room where someone’s life was taken away in this manner. 

“If you listen to the stories about Luke from the day he signed he was generally happy and his dream was to wear the gold and black. It wasn’t about money but it was about the love for the team. I have always loved this team, the football and thanks God I am here. 

“It is very rare to find a combination of a person who has the ability and intention and the supporters want people who play for the badge.” 

Amakhosi are going through a difficult time and Motaung said they are concerned. 

“There is massive concern because we are a football club and our job is to win matches, put smiles on people’s faces and achieve success. Nobody is happy and we are working tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure we can elevate the club. 

“We are aware of what is happening. We need to take this club back to where it belongs and we know which direction to go.”