Kaizer Chiefs retire jersey number 26 in tribute to Luke Fleurs

Kaizer Chiefs retire jersey number 26 in tribute to Luke Fleurs

Festus Chuma 18:15 - 12.04.2024

Luke Fleurs was tragically killed in a hijacking before making his debut for Kaizer Chiefs.

South Africa Premier Soccer League giants, Kaizer Chiefs, have taken the heartfelt step of retiring jersey number 26 in honor of the late Luke Fleurs, who tragically lost his life in a hijacking incident last week. 

The announcement was made by Chiefs Sporting Director, Kaizer Motaung Junior, during a memorial service at the FNB Stadium, attended by close family, friends, teammates, club officials, and legends, as well as representatives from other DStv Premiership clubs, including Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United.

Luke Fleurs, a promising defender who was eagerly awaiting his official debut for the Amakhosi, has left a void in the football community.

His jersey number becomes only the second in the club's history to be retired, following the iconic number 15, which Doctor Khumalo once wore.

In a ceremony marked by profound grief and respect, Motaung Junior, surrounded by the senior team and coaching staff, confirmed the permanent retirement of the jersey number. 

"In his honor and to ensure that he is not forgotten, our executive chairman Dr. Kaizer Motaung has agreed that we will retire Luke’s jersey number 26," said Motaung as per Sunday World.

 "I am sure that as a young man Luke had many dreams. And it is well documented that the one massive dream that he had was to just wear the gold and black jersey at Kaizer Chiefs.”

The decision to retire the jersey number is a tribute to a player described as a "fallen soldier" by the club, symbolizing a commitment to never forget his contribution and aspirations. 

“This doesn’t happen often. But as a fallen soldier, the entire institution believes that it is the right thing to do. And we want to ensure that his legacy is with us forever," Motaung Junior added.

Special tribute messages from FIFA President Gianni Infantino, CAF President Patrice Motsepe, and the Saudi Arabia Football Federation President Yasser Al Misehal, among others, highlighted the widespread impact of Fleurs' untimely demise on the local and international football fraternity.

In a message to Fleurs' family and friends, Motaung Junior offered reassurance of the club's continued support.

 "We promise that we are together. And we will do everything that we can to uphold Luke’s name and legacy. To also provide you with all the support that we can."

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