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Lucas 'Masterpieces' Moripe

Names: Moripe, Lucas 'Masterpieces'

Born: Unknown

In Summary: Former Pretoria Callies and Orlando Pirates maestro of the early 1970s.

The Atteridgeville Super Stadium was renamed the Lucas 'Masterpieces' Moripe Stadium after the legendary Pretoria soccer player. This followed a meeting between the Lucas Moripe Foundation, family members and the former player in May 2010. It was agreed that no conditions should be attached to the renaming, as it was an honour for Mope, and an acknowledgement of his contribution to soccer in both the city and the country.

The formal announcement of the renaming took place at the stadium on 16 May 2010 during a Women's Prayer Day attended by President Jacob Zuma and Tshwane Mayor Dr Gwen Ramokgopa.  Moripe was probably the greatest ball player the country has known, and during the early 70s, fans called him "The god of football". Defenders feared him, and goal keepers dreaded his brilliant touches.

Moripe began playing for Pretoria Callies in 1971 and led the team to several memorable victories over clubs like Orlando Pirates, Pimville United Brothers and Kaizer Chiefs. In 1973 he was awarded the League’s most coveted award as Player of the Year. That same year  he played for the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) Invitation Xl against a selected British All Stars Xl led by Rodney Marsh. His display earned him both the Sportsman of the Year title in 1973, and a stint for Caroline Hills in Hong Kong.

Moripe moved to Orlando Pirates in 1981 when he was well past his prime, but did not remain with the team for  long as he was suffering from a persistent knee injury. Moripe suffered a mild stroke that left him confined to a wheel chair after the operation at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. This was exacerbated by the effects of a long-term injury to his knee.

His Johannesburg soccer fans named him "Soweto", and claimed him as their own. The renaming of the stadium is the second honour for Moripe in Atteridgeville as a street has already been named after him.

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