Bloemfontein Celtic legend Willem Vries speaks out after club sale

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Vries started out at Celtic in 1991 and stayed all
Vries started out at Celtic in 1991 and stayed all the way until he retired in 2004 going on to work at the club until his deteriorating health forced him to stay at home
The Celtic legend bossed the midfield through all
The Celtic legend bossed the midfield through all of his playing career for the club retiring straight after the club won promotion back to the PSL in 2004

Bloemfontein Celtic legend Willem Vries says confirmation of the club’s sale has sent yet another stroke of pain through his heart as he battles on with his health.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has confirmed that the franchise of Celtic has now been bought by the owners of Royal AM and then relocated to KwaZulu-Natal with immediate effect.

Celtic has been sinking in a myriad of financial challenges in recent times which have forced Max Tshabalala to cash in with the club. 

"This has just gone from bad to worse for me considering all that I did for this club and where it has eventually ended up now," Vries told snl24.com/kickoff on Tuesday.

Vries (55) played for Celtic from 1991-2004 and held the club record for most starts at 306 for over a decade before being overtaken by Patrick Tignyemb whose stay with the club also came to a sour ending with the club forced to pay him R3-million for unfair dismissal.

"It is heartbreaking that for all that I did for this club the only thing that I have is a picture of myself. I can’t even buy underwear anymore because of just how much I am struggling here.

"This is the only club that I ever played for in professional football and I stood by them through thick and thin, but all is buried now. The people of Bloemfontein will now feel the kind of pain that I have been feeling all along with regards to this club.

"The last time I went to the Celtic offices I went out escorted by cops while my UIF forms were being filled. I was being accused of wanting to kill which is why my salary was then stopped and this was in September last year. 

"This people’s team is dead now and essentially means I will be getting nothing. The money that I have been getting from the UIF has gone from R4300 to R970 last month. This month it will surely be less and to get this money I must get a form from the UIF offices, take it to a doctor where I should pay R300 to get it filled.

"I am lying here on the bed right now and I can’t even sleep because of my health and how much I think about what I did for this club. What am I going to do now to survive? I won’t kill myself because I have five boys and a girl.

"Since I came out about my situation, people have been making promises and asking for my bank account, but I am still waiting," says Vries who resides in Ehrlich Park in Bloemfontein.