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Highlands Park's Manyathela keen to achieve ex-Orlando Pirates striker Lesley's dream

19:45 BST 09/08/2020
Lesley Manyathela Orlando Pirates
The Lions of the North player has revealed his ambitions and he also remembered his late father

Highlands Park striker Kwena Manyathela has set his sights on making his father, Lesley Manyathela, proud. 

Lesley, who tragically died in a car accident on August 9, 2003, was one of the best strikers in the country during his days with Orlando Pirates

Kwena was only three years old when his father passed away and he also pursued a career in football.

The promising marksman is currently playing for the Highlands Park' reserve side having been nurtured at the club's academy. 

“My dad passed away when I was three-years-old," Kwena told Far Post

"So, I don’t recall many things about him but I have many wishes if he was alive one thing I know is that I love him and I want to pick up where he left."

Kwena, whose middle name is Lesley Junior, is keen to make a name for himself and go on to ply his trade abroad. 

“I have a lot to achieve and I just want to make him proud. There is a reason why he named me after him [Lesley Junior]" he added.  

"I am going to give my all to make sure that I achieve his dream by playing overseas."

Nicknamed Slow Poison, Lesley attracted interest from European clubs after he inspired Pirates to the 2002/03 PSL title by scoring 18 goals and he scooped the league's Golden Boot award.

Slow Poison, who played for Bafana Bafana, South Africa under-23 and under-20 national teams, underwent trials with French giants Olympique Lyonnais and Greek side OFI Crete.

However, Manyathela returned to Pirates ahead of the 2003/04 season and he scored a consolation against Jomo Cosmos in the 2003 SAA Supa 8 (MTN8) match on August 9, 2003.

The goal proved to be his last as the prolific frontman was killed in a car accident as he was on his way to his Limpopo hometown of Musina.

The Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot Award is named after him and his jersey number 22 has been retired by Pirates in honour of the player.

The South African Football Association (Safa) also temporarily retired the number 19 jersey which Manyathela had previously worn while playing for Bafana.