The Namibian football fraternity woke up to more shocking news on Friday with the announcement that former Atlanta Chiefs (Swakopmund) and Thistles (Khomasdal) speedy winger Herman ‘Pele’ Blaschke has exited the game of life.
Blaschke, also known as ‘Kaffertjie’ amongst his vast circle of friends, died from a freak heart attack at his home in Reiger Park, Boksburg, south of Johannesburg on Thursday. Condolences poured in from all corners of the country as many remember his explosive displays and amazing ball artistry on the field of play.
“I vividly remember him during his days with Atlanta Chiefs and Thistles. He was a phenomenal athlete, blessed with all the required ingredients for a top class footballer,” wrote former Red Bees, Flames and African Stars defender Asser Mbai.
“It’s very sad. I’m extremely taken by Pele’s passing. He was one of a kind. It’s just a pity that many Namibians did not have the opportunity to watch him play in his prime,” commented former Chelsea goal poacher Orlando Damaseb.
“I’m shocked and dismayed by the passing of Pele. May his soul rest in peace,” said Kandas Paulino. “Thank God, I was one of those who had the rare opportunity to rub shoulders with him and say goodbye before his untimely departure,” quipped Dean Willemse.
Former Kaizer Chiefs striking partner Pius Eigowab also extended his condolences to the bereaved family.
Arguably Namibia’s most accomplished footballer of all time, Blaschke was spotted by the touring Kaizer Eleven after bamboozling the South African defenders, while featuring for the South West Africa Invitational Eleven at the packed-to-rafters old Katutura Stadium in 1969.
Upon retirement from competitive football he briefly coached Katutura giants and record four-time MTC Premiership champions Black Africa, before he retreated to his adopted land, South Africa, in the late 70’s.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.