Former Orlando Pirates team general manager, Lawrence Ngubane has died after battling a long undisclosed illness.
He died in Durban on Sunday morning. He was aged 69.
The painful demise of the former soccer administrator and manager – dubbed “Teddy Bear” was disclosed by the Soweto giants via a statement on their official website.
His relative, Mlungisi “Professor” Ngubane also confirmed the news. “Lawrence and I were very close, especially from 1984 to 1990 during my playing days as we shared a hotel room. It’s very sad,” Mlungisi told Soccer Laduma.
Lawrence Ngubane Major Roles In Soccer
“Big Bear’ as he was affectionately called, started playing football in the 1960’s before serving many clubs in KwaZulu-Natal in different capacities. Notably, in 2003, he was the co-founder of Durban Stars; and also had a stint at Zulu Royals in 2004.
He played a major role in 1985 at Durban Bush Bucks when they won the old NSL First Division.
Earlier in the year, Ngubane received a Specially Recognition Award from Club Chairman Dr. Irvin Khoza at the PSL Awards along with Raymond Hack for their contribution towards the growth of South African football.
Following the shocking death, Big Bear’s former colleague at Pirates and now a player agent, Mike Makaab took to Twitter on Sunday to pay tribute to his wonderful pal.
“Today I lost a great friend, football legend as a manager, Lawrence Ngubane. May your soul RIP and may your family remain blessed with faith,” Makaab tweeted.
Orlando Pirates Football Club has also conveyed the club’s sincere condolences to the deceased family.
Meanwhile, Ngubane’s family is yet to announce details of his funeral.