Family and friends bid a sad farewell to Cape Town’s most recognisable grassroots football supporter, Sewaan Theys Maggot, 44, from Mitchell’s Plain, a fortnight ago.
Word of his death following a short stay in hospital spread like wildfire and had social media abuzz with messages of condolences from people all over the country.
Although not many knew his name, based on numerous Facebook posts, his bulky frame was a familiar sight at soccer fields across the city. Wherever there was a game going down, he was there.
So when SuperSport United centre back Clayton Daniels and his girlfriend turned up at his mother’s house in Eastridge to offer their condolences and a donation to the family, it bore testimony to the effect Sewaan had on people he interacted with at the football field.
Daniels, who returned to Pretoria on Monday to join up with his Matsatsantsa teammates following the extended lockdown period, said he never knew how close he lived to Sewaan when he stayed in neighbouring Tafelsig.
He said he played most of his early soccer in Sunday leagues before joining Riverside FC and was part of the Elsies River-based side’s under-19 squad named Bayhill Premier Cup team of the tournament in the early 2000s.
Daniels joined Supersport following an impressive stint with Ajax Cape Town and Bloemfontein Celtic, among other clubs. Upon hearing the sad news, Daniels reached out to his friends on social media to see what they could do to assist Sewaan’s family.
“I’ve always seen him at tournaments and he always told me that I can play.”
His former Ajax and SuperSport teammmate, Cole Alexander, who grew up in Lentegeur and played for Leeds-Lentegeur FC, shared a similar recollection. “If there’s one guy that I can put my money on that’s always going to be at the field, it’s him,” he said.
“Throughout my development, through the PSL, I know he will be on the soccer field. He knew every single player, local professional, international, no matter, he watched all of us.
“He could specifically tell me in my development years, Cole, you’re playing in the wrong position. He was following all of us and you can see that when the news came that he passed away, all the people reacting to it, my football friends, those I played with as a youngster, those in the PSL, my family, all sending out messages of condolences to the family.”
Close relative Tania James, from Woodlands, who has been married to his cousin for 25 years, said Sewaan had a medical history of diabetes and a heart condition that led to shortness of breath at times.
She said that as a young boy, aged six at the time, he was knocked over by a Golden Arrow Bus and that recovery was very slow ever since the accident on Eisleben Road.
At the time of the accident, she said, Sewaan lived with his grandparents in Vesta Park, Woodlands. “Sewaan attended Mitchell’s Plain Day Hospital on a regular basis as he grew older, his weight problems also put a strain on his medical condition,” she said.
“He suffered from chest pains on a regular basis and his mother had to call the ambulance service on a regular basis to take him to hospital were he’d get treated, stabilised and sent home.
“Many times after being discharged from hospital, he would walk straight to the Town Centre and spend his day there, she said.
She said his mother, Belinda Maggot, had a tough time these past two years, nursing Sewaan and his sister, Carmelita, who was buried in December and who also had diabetes.
Devastated by the loss of two children in recent months, Sewaan’s mother said her son’s interest in soccer came after his accident.
She said he’d spend much of his time at the soccer field next to where he grew up in Woodlands.
“Sewaan was one of two brothers and two sisters of whom he is the second eldest and eldest son. He was always the soccer fan in the family,” she said.
Mitchell’s Plain Local Football Association chairman Wayne Carstens also expressed his condolences to the family.
“Fondly known as Likkewaan, Sewaan has been a well-known figure around the football fields not only in Mitchell’s Plain but around the Safa CT region as a whole.
“People without getting to know him on a personal level, marvelled at his knowledge of football and administration as well.
“Never shy to dispense his point of view, it was clear to me that he was struggling financially yet football seems to have provided him with temporary relief from those struggles.
“I am glad that I had an opportunity to engage him in conversation on numerous occasions around football or rather to have listened to him speaking about football issues. As Mitchell’s Plain LFA, we again express our sincere condolences to his family and friends. May his departed soul rest in eternal peace.”