Doha, 16 July 2017. Aspire Football Dreams graduate and KAS Eupen player, Ntuthuko Radebe was tragically killed in car accident near his hometown of Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday 4th July 2017 aged just 23. South Africa born, Ntuthuko Radebe was in the first group of boys to enroll for Aspire Academy project, Aspire Football Dreams when it was launched in 2007. An affable and well-mannered boy according to Aspire Academy staff who remember him. He would go on and graduate from AFD in 2011 before joining KAS Eupen in 2012 as a youth player going on to break into the senior team thereafter.
Aspire Zone Foundation owned club, KAS Eupen issued a statement on hearing the sad news saying, “The team, the staff, supervisors, all employees and supporters of KAS Eupen lost a good friend. His kindness, his company, his loyalty, his commitment and good humour earned him great respect at the club. As a graduate of the Aspire Academy branch in Senegal, Ntuthuko Radebe arrived at KAS Eupen with the first group of Aspire players in the summer of 2012. He was a member of the first team squad until June 2017 and made 43 appearances in the KAS Eupen jersey. His plan was to continue his career in South Africa. Ntuthuko Radebe will forever remain a family member of KAS Eupen.”
Radebe played at full-back for club and country and was capped at Under-17 and U-20 for South Africa and was in line for selection for the Under-23 team at last year’s 2016 Olympics in Rio until an injury forced him to miss the tournament. South Africa Football Association president Danny Jordaan expressed his sadness at the passing of Ntuthuko Radebe.
SAFA president went on to say, “The death of a young person who had so much ahead of him is tragic, and as the Association we would like to convey our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Ntuthuko. May they be comforted during these difficult times,” said Jordaan.
“As a football family we have lost another valuable member at a time when we are throwing all our energies towards Vision 2022 where we believe he could have an integral part of the project. We currently have 19, 22 and 23-year-olds in the regional COSAFA Cup squad, who are the drivers of Vision 2022, and which is where the likes of Ntuthuko fit in, but unfortunately it is not going to be the case with him. We are deeply saddened by his loss and may his soul rest in peace.”