Nelson Mandela: Club tribute
- 06 December 2013 08:47
- Posted by MCFC
Last night the world said goodbye to Nelson Mandela, one of the most extraordinary political figures in history.
He was a man who was a giant of his age and who touched and changed millions of lives.
The outpouring of tributes from all corners of the globe from young and old and from all races is testimony to his influence, greatness and never-to be-forgotten story.
Manchester City staff and players were proud and privileged to have met with the inspirational South African and his family on two occasions.
Mike Summerbee was in the party that met Mandela in 2009 and leads our tributes.
“When we were in South Africa with the squad in 2009 we were in this small amphitheatre and when he came in you could feel the emotion in the room,” Summerbee remembers.
“Quite a few of the people in the room were in tears, just to be in the same room as a man of such stature. It was a moment that all of us will never forget.
“I was privileged to shake hands with him. I admired him so very, very much.
“The world has lost one of the great icons, one of its great leaders, who has brought so much stability there, he will be very sadly missed."
...Mike Summerbee on Nelson Mandela...
“He’s so looked up to, he was a leader – I was watching on television when he first came out of prison, I saw the impact he had on so many people there which can still be felt in the country today.
“He brought the togetherness that was missing to South Africa, it’s upsetting to even talk about it now because it’s such a terrible loss for the people there.”
The players were also honoured to meet Ndaba Mandela, Nelson Mandela's grandson, while on pre-season tour of South Africa in July 2013.
They presented Ndaba with a signed Manchester City shirt with the number 67 printed on the back, to mark the number of years Nelson Mandela spent fighting for peace in South Africa.
The team had the opportunity to leave personal messages for Nelson Mandela in a birthday card, and were honoured to take part in the Nelson Mandela Football Invitational, when they faced Supersport United and Amazulu FC.
A hero is someone who has given his life for something bigger than oneself...The world lost a hero, Africa lost a father...RIP Mandela— yaya toure (@Toure_yaya42) December 5, 2013
RIP Nelson Mandela. No words to describe the goodness you have brought to this world. Sad to see you go. Inspirational, my only ever hero.— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) December 5, 2013
RIP Nelson Mandela 1918-2013 pic.twitter.com/bcWsdWTJyc— Pablo Zabaleta (@pablo_zabaleta) December 5, 2013
Manchester City sends its sincere condolences to the family of Nelson Mandela and to the people of South Africa.
The players will wear black armbands in Saturday's Premier League fixture against Southampton in tribute.