The football scene was once again caught off guard with the announcement of the death of Ubuntu FC goalkeeper Kyle Davids, last week.
The former Milano goalkeeper, from Parkwood, succumbed after a long battle with cancer.
His mother, Lorna, described him as “one in a million”. This, she said, was because of the way he handled himself, at home and in the community.
“He was a good-mannered young man. A non-smoker and non-drinker. He was humble and used to coach children here in Parkwood. They are devastated,” she said. “I miss him. I still can’t believe he’s gone but, considering the pain he went through, I know he is resting now.”
Ubuntu FC managing director, Casey Prince, described the loss as a big one, not only for the club but South African football in general.
Prince said Davids, 25, played with Ubuntu for each of their two years in the National First Division (NFD). Then, in the first half of this season, he played in the ABC Motsepe League before moving to Glendene United.
“It’s amazing to see the outpouring of support and care that Kyle’s story has generated. That shows what kind of impact his life has had,” said Prince. “Kyle was hardworking, loyal, and really supportive of his goalkeeping brothers. It’s tough in that position because you might not play often but he came to work and trained hard, and was very supportive of the others.
He had great field-playing skills, which is how he picked up the name ‘Ter Stegen’ (after the German and FC Barcelona goalkeeper).”
Prince also noted that Davids’ biggest attribute was his perseverance and his passion for his community. “He was determined to keep going and part of that was to set a great example for the people of Parkwood.
“Kyle is a big loss to the football community and for Parkwood.
He set such a great example and really was inspiring the young people there to dream bigger.
Most teammates were aware of the fight Kyle was enduring. Some of his teammates and I were fortunate to participate in his baptism about a week before he died, so we got to celebrate that special time with him. They talked about how that experience has changed them,” he said.
Safa-Cape Town took to Facebook to share their condolences. “25 year old Ubuntu FC goalkeeper Kyle Davids has tragically departed this morning. The former GladAfrica Championship goalkeeper succumbed to his battle with cancer. “We as SAFA Cape Town Region would like to convey our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Kyle Davids and the entire football fraternity.”