Former Leeds and South African striker Phil Masinga dies aged 49

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"The thoughts of everyone at LUFC are with his family and friends".

Masinga, whose death at the age of 49 was announced this morning, came to England in a £275,000 transfer from Mamelodi Sundowns in the same recruitment which snared Lucas Radebe from Kaizer Chiefs.

He played 58 times for the South African team, scoring 18 goals in national colours and was part of the famous squad that claimed Bafana Bafana's first and only Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) crown in 1996.

Before Percy Tau, before Benni McCarthy, there was one Phil Masinga - a giant in South African soccer and a man who scored some of the most memorable goals the country has seen. A loyal servant of the game, on and off the field of play, SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan was quoted as saying by the same twitter account.

During the same year, the tall striker helped coach Clive Barker's Bafana lift the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations trophy on home soil and it remains the country's only continental trophy triumph to date.

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He is fondly remembered for scoring the goal that sent Bafana Bafana to the 1998 World Cup.

Former Ghana global footballer Anthony Baffoe also shared his sadness saying: "We have lost another hero-Phil Masinga just passed away-Rest well Phil".

After Leeds, Masinga played in Switzerland, Italy and the United Arab Emirates in his 12-year professional career and had his best spell with Italian club Bari.

Anthony Baffoe, deputy secretary general of the African football confederation, wrote: "We have lost another hero in Phil Masinga". This is a sad day and I am gutted.

Former Leeds team-mate Noel Whelan tweeted: "Really sad news to learn that a guy I spent so much time with, laughs and games together, has passed away". "Football will never forget you".

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