The news of the death of the man known affectionately as ‘the British Bulldog’ was confirmed by the PSL on Monday morning.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mr. Trevor “British Bulldog” Phillips, the first Chief Executive Officer of the Premier Soccer League,” read a statement.
“The NSL Executive Committee conveys its heartfelt condolences to Mr. Phillips’ family, more particularly, his wife Stella and his children Mark and Sharon. We supplicate that GOD gives them fortitude at this moment of their extreme grief and pain.
“The PSL will observe a moment of silence ahead of this week’s DStv Premiership and GladAfrica Championship fixtures. May his soul repose peacefully.”
Phillips served as the PSL’s CEO during two spells.
The first coincided with the founding of the PSL in 1996 and ran until 1998. In his first season in charge, it was Gordon Igesund's Manning Rangers who won the inaugural PSL title.
Phillips then returned for another five-year stint which ran between 2002 and 2007. During this spell, the PSL was reduced from 18 to 16 clubs – ahead of the 2002/ 03 campaign.
Also in Phillips’ second stint in charge was the 2004 match-fixing scandal which rocked South African football - Operation Dribble lead to a number of arrests of club officials, match commissioners, referees and assistants.
Between 1996 and 2007 the PSL was sponsored by the South African Brewery (SAB) and the league competition was known as the Castle Premiership. Subsequently, Absa bank and now DStv have been the headline sponsors.
The PSL has widely been recognised as one of the most professional and well-run leagues on the continent and has attracted players and coaches from across Africa and the world.
Phillips was replaced by Norwegian Kjetil Siem, who was in charge until 2011.
Between 2011 and 2016, Zola Majavu‚ Stanley Matthews‚ Cambridge Mokanyane and Brand de Villers all had relatively short stints as the league’s leader.
Since 2016, Golden Arrows chairperson Mato Madlala has been the acting PSL CEO.