‘Nelson Mandela was my only ever hero’: Vincent Kompany leads Manchester City tributes to world icon

By Alan Ross

After the announcement last night of the passing of Nelson Mandela, Manchester City players have paid tribute to the former South African president.

Staff and players from the club paid tribute to the iconic politician, whose family they were lucky enough to meet on two occasions.

Argentinean fullback Pablo Zabaleta and former City player Shaun Wright-Phillips both tweeted photos of meeting the anti-apartheid activists with club captain Vincent Kompany sending out his own message.

“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,” he wrote on Twitter.

Club legend Mike Summerbee met Mandela in 2009 when City visited and told the club’s website that it was an emotional event.

“Quite a few of the people in the rooms 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,” he said.

“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.”

This summer City presented a shirt numbered 67 to represent the number of years that Mandela spent fighting for peace to his grandson, Ndaba, on their pre-season tour of South Africa.

The Sky Blues also took part in the Nelson Mandela Football Invitational against Supersport United and Amazulu FC after leaving personal messages in a birthday card for 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,” Summerbee continued.

“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.”

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