John Barker talks about his father’s patriotic heritage

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John Barker, the son of late Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker, says his father was a patriotic South African.

People from all walks of life have gathered in Durban for his funeral service under way. Among the mourners are South African Football Association President Danny Jordaan and former Bafana Bafana players, including Neil Tovey, Mark Williams and Andre Arendse.

John says they grew up in a soccer community in Durban. “We grew up in a soccer community in the South of Durban. It was magic and it was wonderful. We dreamed of one day playing soccer for South Africa and my mother especially made it possible for my father to become a great success. It was truly beautiful, we know there were many up and downs in Dad’s career, but you stood by him, you loved him and you supported him.

“Thank you for doing it for us and giving dad to this nation to be such a great coach and success, and thank you Mom his other great passion was for South Africa and the people of South Africa he was so patriotic he believed we were the best in the world,” John says.

‘Putting SA soccer on the World map’ 

Mourners, among them fans of the late former Bafana Bafana coach, have hailed him for putting South African soccer on the world map.

Barker remains the only South African coach to have won the African Cup of Nations in 1996.

Some of the fans present say Barker remains an icon in South African football.

“Clive Barker, our former coach, thank you very much! We love you! We will always love you; we supported you because you left a legacy. Being the first and the last coach because none has won Afcon except him. You are our icon and I believe that your legacy will live forever.”

VIDEO: Dr. Danny Joordan pays his respects to Barker:

Additional reporting by Vusi Makhosini.