Orlando Pirates mourn the passing of club legend, Alfred Jacobs. The Buccaneers took to the club’s official website to convey messages of condolences for Jacobs.
According to the club’s statement, the player known as ‘Russia’ in the football fraternity succumbed to illness, after being admitted to a Bethlehem hospital in the Free State.
He was 78 years old at the time of his passing.
It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing away of Alfred Jacobs. “Russia” as he was affectionately known, was admitted to the Phekolong Hospital in Bethlehem, Free State last week where he later succumbed to his illness on July 7 - he was 78.
Mr Jacobs, who was known for his exceptional skills and eye for goal scoring inherited the nickname “From Russia with Love” from the 60s hit song “From Russia with Love”. His goals were a gift of love to the supporters.
Mr Jabobs was one of the legends of the famous Orlando Pirates squad of 1968 which featured the likes of Percy ‘Chippa’ Moloi, the Khoza twins, Bernard ‘Dancing Shoes’ Hartze, Rashid Khan, Ralph ‘Ndabazabantu’ Hendricks, Hans Moses and Gerard van der Haar.
This multi-racial, multi-cultural squad defied many odds during a time when it was an unacceptable thing to do so. Unfortunately, any arguments that sport was divorced from politics were rubbished when the Apartheid state dismantled the team as some of the players were not considered “Africans” (or ‘Bantu’ in the official parlance of the day).
Before that sorry episode, the club and their many fans had also been disappointed when state officials blocked a proposed match-up between Pirates and Highlands in Swaziland, depriving thousands of fans of soccer’s equivalent of Cassius Clay meeting Sonny Liston.
We convey our heartfelt and deepest sympathy to the Jacobs Family and pledge our profound moral support.
We supplicate that God gives the family fortitude at this moment of extreme grief and pain.
Details of the funeral will be announced at a later date.
Soccer Laduma sends our heartfelt condolences to Jacobs’ family and everyone affected by his sad passing.