MASERU — Mourners attending the majesticbsend–off for one of the football fraternity’sbgreatest sons, Bishop Molatoli,bdescribed his death as a great loss to thebsport in the country.
Members of the football fraternity camebout in numbers to bid their farewell to theblate national Under-17 Bahlabani coachband Likhopo founder coach, Kefuoe BishopbMolatoli, at a well attended funeral service held at Sekhutlong Koalabata yesterday.
Molatoli passed away after a short illness which began while he was attending the Prime Minister’s Charity Cup played at the Setsoto Stadium from January 11 to12, two days before his untimely death at the Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital.
Bishop’s sister, ‘Mamolatoli Molatoli, said the deceased died from kidney failureband low blood pressure.
She said they were shocked when they received news of his death “because when we last saw him on the Monday ( a day before his death) at the hospital he looked fine and recovering,” ‘Molatoli said.
Friend Mahao Matete, who was also Bishop’s former teammate in their playing days at both Maseru United and Matlama said the football family had lost a great icon that had massive love for football.
“The football family has been dealt a huge blow and I am still shocked by his sudden death. I had a good friend in him and I will always cherish the good friendship we had.
He always turned to me when things did not go right, either in his national team or at Likhopo,” Matete said.
In his heyday as a player, Bishop had a brief spell with Maseru United before joining Matlama until he hung his boots to pursue a career in coaching.
Bantu coach who is also a Likhopo product, Motlatsi Shale, said he lost a father in Bishop and still found it hard to believe that he would never see him again.
“Bishop was like a father to me. He nurtured me to become the man I am today and it is still hard to believe that I will never see him,” Shale said.
Likhopo’s administrator and legal representative, Khotso Nthontho, said it was sad that they had lost Bishop but as a team they would do “whatever it takes to keep Likhopo as his legacy”.
“It is sad that we lost him but we are determined to at least keep his legacy as a token of appreciation for what he has taught us as most of us came into this team knowing nothing about the football administration,” Nthontho said.
Lesotho Football Association President, Salemane Phafane described Bishop as a rare talent the country had in the administration of football and “we are soothed by the memories of what he did for the football family”.
Molatoli was born the seventh child among eight children of the late Daniel and ‘Maphoka Molatoli in 1955. He coached Matlama and in 1996 he formed his own team F.C. Likhopo which went on to win
the premier league title in two successive years. He was the Bahlabani coach. He is survived by his wife and a daughter.