TUMASERA/SELEKA: Hundreds of mourners turned up to pay their last respects at the funeral of Morupule Wanderers defender, Lesego ‘Riquelmer’ Matoteng who was laid to rest here at the village cemetery on Saturday morning.
The Wanderers defender met his untimely death on Monday morning aged 29, after a motor vehicle accident in Radisele.
Matoteng was not a household name in the country but noticeably by the numbers of the grievers that turned up at the somber ceremony of his burial, he was prominent.
The tributes at his funeral ceremony spoke massively of the sense of impact he had on his community through football. Different speakers at the funeral remembered him as a complete footballer, a dedicated leader, and the pride and joy of the village.
His uncle, Letsweletse Mosarwa said Matoteng was born a footballer and he showed his qualities of the game at a tender age even before he started his primary school.
He said he lived to see his nephew’s potential develop from the dusty streets to the Chappies little league, through Junior School, first division and to the premiership.
“He was a humble, jolly young man who owned up to his mistakes. He was a natural hard worker and a leader both on and off the field. He inspired his brothers to play football, and we were expecting a lot from him,” he said. His coach at Eagle Fighter, his home team, Basiame ‘Soccer’ Kolagano said Requelmer was his captain for the past two years. He said Riquelmer loved football so much that whenever he was home, regardless they were playing a friendly match he would come to play. He said they had lost the backbone of the team that they relied on when things went wrong. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow for me and my team. Riquelmer was a leader that led by example. He made things easier for me, with his experience he could come and drill the players and lead them in the game.”
“He knew how to set our spirit for our matches. Everyone here loved him. We enjoyed
Wanderers chairperson, Nelson Kgosipheko defined Riquelmar as a playful figure around his teammates, but was disciplined on his duties. Kgosipheko said the player was a vital part of the squad they were building for their premiership dream.
“He played 23 of our 25 games, and those he missed was due to minor knocks. He was a crucial player for our team. He had an intelligent left foot, and he will truly be missed,” he said. Requelmer’s football career kicked off at Motlakase Power Dynamos that identified his talent at his home side Rasesa Eagle Fighters. The left-footer moved to Queens Happy Hearts that he helped to the successful First Division South promotional playoffs.
His skills caught the attention of ECCO City Greens, current Francistown City Greens where he elevated his football to the top-flight league. He played as a left-winger at Mamoja and when the Francistown club relegated he joined Sankoyo Bush Bucks in Maun.
A season later, alongside his teammate Kealeboga Molebatsi they were recruited by Madinda Ndlovu to join Orapa United. At the Ostriches, Riquelmer re-united with his former Mamoja Diskie teammates Mooketsi Tlhabano, Olekantse Mambo and Patrick Lenyeletse.He struggled to break into the Orapa first 11 where he deputised Lesenya Ramoraka and he did not last at Orapa United, after half a season he left Orapa for Mahalapye where he joined Mahalapye United Hotspurs in search of a regular place.
Amahot was also competing in the premiership. When the Mahalapye Club sunk to the lower first division Riquelmer joined Wanderers. His last footballing home before he met his untimely demise. Matoteng is survived by his parents, five siblings, two sisters and three brothers and a daughter.