HIGHLANDERS’ legend Barry Daka, who died at his Barbourfields home last Thursday morning after a short illness, was buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery yesterday.
His last-born daughter Marcelene, a qualified medical doctor, “officially certified” her father dead in an emotionally charged tribute to him at a funeral service held at the Amphitheater yesterday.
The service was attended by the who is who of football from the Southern Region and thousands of mourners.
“I might be a medical doctor, but it never occurred to me that one day I will certify my own parent dead. I did just that last Thursday to my own father, who is lying motionless in front of us today,” said Marcelene
“I am young, not married and have no children of my own, and wanted dad to be part of all that when it finally happens, but he decided to leave us. The pain I felt seeing that he was indeed gone that day was excruciating as you may all imagine and so personally, I am angry at Barry. I am angry that he could just go before he could see his own grandchildren mature,” he said sobbing.
Her eulogy touched a number of mourners, who also started sobbing as she spoke.
The service went on for more than four hours, as speaker after speaker spoke glowingly about the man, who won a massive 23 trophies with Highlanders.
Speaking earlier, Highlanders’ president Ndumiso Gumede said Daka was a mentor to many people in football.
“He was soft-spoken, highly unlikely of a football coach, but one thing I know about him is that he was a mentor to many of these boys you call legends today, not only at Highlanders, but everywhere he went.
At Bosso I feel sad that someone with the club’s institutional memory is gone,” said Gumede.