South African Football Wept As Double Tragedy Struck...
Richard & Joseph Henyekane were born just a year apart, growing up in Kimberly’s Galeshewe township, where they honed their skills as young footballers. They were humble men who were respected in their community.
On the pitch, Joseph’s wide range of skills earned him a reputation as a reliable, consistent player that would never let his team down. Richard, one the other hand, was best known for the clinical nature of his game at the top end of the pitch. A truly clinical striker, with a touch of creativity and the speed of a cheetah, that saw him contribute towards a goal almost every other game in over 150 appearances throughout his distinguished career.
They enjoyed successful careers, with Richard up front and Joseph playing in a utility role on the left flank, earning nine and five Bafana Bafana caps respectively. Joseph went on to join Mpumalanga Black Aces and later Bidvest Wits, before spending three years in football limbo. He eventually joined Roses United prior to his untimely death in December 2014, as a result of an epileptic fit. Then, as his family struggled to come to terms with the loss of his brother, Richard was involved in a fatal car accident in April of 2017.
The Kimberley Express, as he was fondly known, had gained more attention in his career after an incredible 2009/10 season in his final season with Abafana Bes’thende, which earned him a three-year contract with Mamelodi Sundowns. Undoubtedly, his most memorable game in the Brazilians’ jersey was the 24-0 thrashing of Powerlines FC in the Nedbank Cup, where he scored five of the goals. In January 2014, he joined Free State Stars on loan, before making the deal permanent that July.
The brothers, in a touch of poetic justice, were literally inseparable… right until the end.
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