The late Mamelodi Sundowns defender Anele Ngcongca has been described as someone who had respect for other people regardless of the status he achieved in football.
Former Bafana Bafana right-back Ngcongca made his professional debut as an 18-year old playing for Cape Town-based FC Fortune in the National First Division.
One of his former teammates there who is now a football agent, Ratshibvumo Mulovhedzi, has recalled how Ngongca never forgot him even after his own career was curtailed by a knee injury.
He describes the late defender, who passed away in a car accident on Monday morning in KwaZulu-Natal, as a respectful and welcoming human being who never lost touch with those behind him.
"Anele was my teammate at FC Fortune, we used to stay in the same house in Strandfontein. On some weekends we used to visit his family in Gugulethu and Claremont," Mulovhedzi tells snl24.com/kickoff.
"His family was also welcoming to us and even when he stayed with his wife when he got married, he always welcomed me. Even when he left to Europe he never changed, he was someone who didn't forget people who started with him."
View highlights of Ngcongca's distinguished career in the gallery below
With Ngcongca moving abroad in 2006 to train with English Premier League giants Arsenal before ending up in Belgium at the same time Mulovhedzi lost the opportunity to pursue his football career, many friends in football distanced themselves from him.
But the 2010 World Cup star stuck with Mulovhedzi and gave him the same respect as he did when they were playing at FC Fortune.
"He gave me respect when many didn't take me seriously and even asked advice from me, that's how he respected people," Mulovhedzi recalls.
"He didn't change even when he was in Belgium until he returned to the country. The guy was successful but never showed it. He always gave people the same respect regardless of your status."