Madiba: The avid sports fan and supporter
Mandela was an avid sports fan, and particularly supportive of the national sides in team sports like rugby, soccer and cricket, something that is evident from all the tweets and accolades following his death.
One of the most iconic moments in South African sport was of Nelson Mandela wearing the No 6 jersey after the Springboks won the 1995 Rugby World Cup. This picture, taken with captain Francois Pienaar on the field at Ellis Park, was a key moment in a newly democratic South Africa.
18 years ago today, Nelson Mandela presented the Webb Ellis Cup to Francois Pienaar – Thoughts are with him now. pic.twitter.com/IDfRNPBH5X
— Rob Nicoll (@nicollback) 24 June 2013
This picture was tweeted by one of South Africa's greatest cricketers, former national team captain Shaun Pollock (although he wasn't captain at the time this picture was taken).
Rest in peace Mr Mandela and thank you!!!...... pic.twitter.com/vbnMUk5HBH
— Shaun Pollock (@7polly7) 6 December 2013
Below is Madiba in 2003 with soccer legends David Beckham and Lucas Radebe. At the time, the English soccer team was in South Africa to play an international friendly against Bafana Bafana.
— Kampus BOLA (@KampusBOLA) 6 December 2013
In 2007, ahead of the Rugby World Cup, the Springboks invited Madiba to attend the final in Paris. He was unable to attend but recorded a video message and the Nelson Mandela Foundation posted images of him wearing the team's colours in support of the Springboks.
— BlitzBokke.com (@BlitzBokke) 8 December 2013
As it turned out, the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup again and the team took the trophy to Madiba to show him and celebrate with him. Here, Madiba is pictured with Jake White, former Springbok coach, holding the Webb Ellis Trophy representing the team's victory.
— BlitzBokke.com (@BlitzBokke) 6 December 2013
Itumeleng Khune, current Bafana Bafana captain and captain of local football team Kaizer Chiefs, was photographed with Madiba in June 2010 ahead of the kick-off of the FIFA World Cup. The way in which he is shaking the former president's hand is a South African way of showing respect.
— RedCardEditor (@RedCardTheRef1) 6 December 2013
Other than the FIFA World Cup, 2010 saw the US football team play Bafana Bafana in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in November. On their way to the airport, the US team stopped at Mr Mandela's office where the team captain, Bob Bradley, presented Madiba with a team shirt.
The US Soccer family mourns the loss of Nelson Mandela, one of the most inspirational leaders of our time. pic.twitter.com/uZ76oO4G7p
— US Soccer (@ussoccer) December 6, 2013
The South African national football team, Bafana Bafana, also stopped by for some Madiba Magic. Below is Madiba with Steven Pienaar, who currently plays for English football team Everton.
Nelson Mandela with Steven Pienaar pic.twitter.com/f4S1WiPupO
— The League Magazine (@Theleaguemag) December 6, 2013
And the Springboks made the following tribute video to our former president as a way of celebrating the impact he has had on SA rugby. The video includes some of the audio Madiba recorded when congratulating the Springboks for their 2007 World Cup win in Paris.
If you have photographs of Nelson Mandela or photographs of your time in South Africa, feel free to share them with our Love South Africa Flickr group. We look forward to seeing your photos.