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Marc Batchelor: South African former footballer shot dead

Mark Batchelor
Marc Batchelor played for Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa

South African former footballer Marc Batchelor has been shot dead near his home in Johannesburg.

Batchelor played for Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa.

“He was attacked by two men who were driving a motorbike,” a police spokesman Col Lungelo Dlamini told South African Broadcasting Corporation.

“I am shocked to learn about the passing of former Kaizer Chiefs player Marc Batchelor,” said the club’s chairman Kaizer Motaung.

“On behalf of Kaizer Chiefs, I wish to express my deepest heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, friends and the football fraternity. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Analysis

South African sports journalist Mohammed Allie

Marc Batchelor was a colourful and controversial individual in South Africa. He retired from the game in 2003 and by 2007 had lost his job as a television pundit after being involved in a punch-up with a businessman in a restaurant.

He was very close to some well-known figures in the Johannesburg underworld, which is why there is strong speculation about his killing being a hit. Also, nothing was taken from him or his vehicle.

As a player he was one of an elite group to have scored for both Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa’s two biggest clubs, in the Soweto derby which is played in front of 90,000 fans.

Both clubs have expressed their condolences.

In a statement, Pirates recalled Batchelor’s role in helping the team to win the CAF Champions League title in 1995 when they beat Asec Mimosas in the final and chairman Irvin Khoza described him as a “hero”.

Khoza, who is also chairman of South Africa’s Premier Soccer League, recalled that during apartheid years the striker would train in the townships and use the same showers as black players.

“Along with [white players] Mark Fish and Gavin Lane, Marc Batchelor made South Africa appear “normal” when in fact it was not,” Khoza said.

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