Gaborone — Tributes have started pouring in for renowned football coach, Major David Bright, who died at Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital in Gaborone on Monday evening.
Confirming his passing, his eldest son, Mogomotsi Bright, said in an interview that while he acknowledged that Batswana were hurting, he wanted them to celebrate his father's life.
On his Facebook page, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi wrote: "I am saddened by the passing on of one of the country's legends, Major David Bright. This great man had dedicated his life to the service of the country having served in the Botswana Defence Force and the football fraternity where he left an indelible mark.
Fakude, as he was affectionately called, leaves a legacy; he put Botswana on the international map when he was appointed Cape Town Santos's coach. During his stay there he hammered big clubs such as Orlando Pirates, an achievement that shall forever remain.
On behalf of the people of Botswana and indeed on my own behalf, I send my condolences to his family and the football fraternity at large. Robala ka kagiso Major. Robala Fakude".
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) wrote: "David Bright's passion and love for football placed him at the pinnacle of football opportunities having coached in foreign countries such as Brazil and South Africa respectively. His trophy cabinet is adorned with distinguished awards and medals to his mettle.
The BFA National Executive Committee (NEC) and staff send their heartfelt condolences to the Bright family and the entire football fraternity during this difficult time."
Gaborone United Sporting Club statement read: "It is great sadness that we have learned about the passing of our former head coach, Major David Bright. Bright led the Reds to the Mascom Top 8 title in 2013 beating favourites BDF XI in the final at Lobatse Sports Complex. The following year he led the Reds in CAF Confederations Cup.
"We are saddened by his death and may his family find comfort in this difficult time. He was a great motivator, full of confidence, and a real warrior in the dugout. His death has robbed Botswana Football of a coach with wealth of experience. We would also like to send our deepest condolences to his club, Sua Flamingoes," said the Reds Director Nicholas Zakhem.
Sixty-four-year-old Major Bright made himself a name at Mogoditshane Fighters where he won three Super League titles.
He also had a stint with the senior national football team and Under 23.
The outspoken coach raised stars that included Mogogi Gabonamong, Sox Molwantwa, Diphetogo Selolwane, Edwin Disang, Shimane Kgope and Masego Ntshingane.
Major Bright also coached an Olympic football team, which had the likes of Noah Maposa, Alphonso Modisaotsile, Mosimanegape Ramohibidu and he was the first Botswana coach to work in South Africa with Cape Town Santos and Bay United.
South African FARPost editor, Tiyani Mabasa, said he had worked closely with Major Bright and what was striking from the beginning of his tenure with Santos was that he was a disciplinarian.
"It took a while before we found out that he was in the army and it all made sense. I remember Santos struggling in their first match; losing by a big score against Free State Stars, if I remember well and then going on a long unbeaten run. It was very clear that Santos had a good coach and there were no doubters anymore," he said.
Mabasa said most people wanted to know about this man, who was doing well with Santos.
He said he recalled an interview where Major Bright said, 'I have achieved almost everything in Botswana and I believe this is a perfect time to make a move to prove myself elsewhere'.
According Mabasa, when Major Bright resigned from Santos, he spoke openly about his exit, adding that he would remember him as someone who spoke his mind.
"But above all, I think he was underrated as a coach in South Africa. I was surprised that the well-established clubs didn't come for him when he left Santos," he said. BOPA
Source : BOPA