Mosothoane hangs boots

MASERU — Linare’s veteran striker Kabelo Mosothoane finally hangs his boots when he plays his testimonial match against Vodacom Premier League champions Matlama on Saturday.

The match will be a befitting tribute to the former Lesotho international whose 17-year career includes a spell with Orlando Pirates although he never played an official match for the South African giants.

He is 36.

“Basically it is an exit game, just to honour him for his contribution to Linare as a team and also to Basotho as a nation,” Linare’s secretary-general Thato Molapo told the Lesotho Times on Monday.

“I don’t want it to seem as if we are holding a celebration for Kabelo when we don’t do that for other players.

“It is for someone who has shown respect and dignity throughout his career.”

Mosothoane, who started his career with Linare and scored a hat-trick on his debut against Rovers as a 19 year-old in 1993, has also become a respected pundit of the game.

Then a fleet-footed striker, Mosothoane was the star of the most successful Rovers side which won their only championship in 1996.

The Roma side also won the Top Four trophy before venturing into an unforgettable Africa adventure in 1997.

Mosothoane helped Rovers beat Malawi’s Telecom Wanderers 5-1 on aggregate in the preliminary round of the African Champions League before they stumbled against Orlando Pirates.

Rovers lost the first leg 1-0 in Johannesburg before holding the then defending champions to a goal-less draw at Setsoto Stadium.

But Mosothoane had done enough to catch the eye of Pirates who snatched him at the start of the 1997/98 season.

He however did not play a single official match for Pirates because the team had already exhausted their quota for foreign players.

Mosothoane also tried his luck in China and at South Africa’s Bloemfontein Celtic but could not get a deal.

He returned home in 2002 to rejoin Linare before moving to Likhopo in 2005.

The striker then rejoined Linare again in 2007.

Molapo said Mosothoane last year gave the club notice he was playing his final season.

“When he intended to retire he gave us the honour (of knowing),” Molapo said.

“That is not something that happens in our football every day because most people just disappear.

“It was last year after our final game against Butha-Buthe Roses that he told us he wished to retire.

“But we felt it was not right for him to retire so far from home.

“We asked if we could register him for one more season and he has been a vital player.”

Molapo said part of the proceeds from Saturday’s testimonial match in Hlotse would be given to Mosothoane.

“The match will kick off at 1pm and our plan is that half of the proceeds will go to Kabelo,” he said.

“To us he is a symbol of the type of players that we should have in Lesotho.”

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