Legendary former SA football national team coach Clive Barker dies

The family of legendary former Bafana Bafana head coach Clive Barker have announced his passing after a brave battle with Lewy Body Dementia. Photo: BackpagePix
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Cape Town — The family of former Bafana Bafana coach Clive ‘The Dog’ Barker announced his passing on Saturday morning after a brave battle with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).

Barker, 78, led South Africa to their only continental triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Johannesburg, in 1996.

Two years later he oversaw the side’s qualification for the World Cup in France although he was replaced six months before the finals kicked off. However, he was credited with steering the national team to a maiden World Cup appearance in France.

He is fondly remembered by fans across the country, as has been evident by the tremendous support he received after falling ill.

The Barker family’s statement read:

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the medical professionals who cared for Clive over the past six months. He fought a brave battle, and we are relieved he is now at peace.

“Clive will be remembered by South Africans for his role in helping to bring a nation together around the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations, but for us, he was a loving husband, father, and grandfather, and he will be dearly missed.

“We have been overwhelmed by the enormous outpouring of love and support for Clive since he was first diagnosed with LBD, and this is a testament to the coach, friend, and mentor he was to not only several generations of footballers but also anyone who crossed his path in the sport he so dearly loved.

“We will provide details of the memorial service in the coming days and ask the family’s privacy be respected at this very difficult time.”

Barker defied apartheid regulations in the 1970s to coach teams in South Africa’s black townships and had a 40-year career coaching numerous clubs in the top flight of South African football, winning the league three times.

IOL Sport