SO SAD: Footballer dies in mother’s arms on the way to a hospital

He had no last words, just last moments. He squeezed his mother’s hand and died in her arms.

This is how Ruché van Rooyen, girlfriend of the late Stellenbosch FC soccer player Oshwin “Ossie” Andries (19), described his last moments before dying on the way to hospital on Saturday (4 February) evening.

Van Rooyen said it all began when the two were standing beside the road in Mandela City in Klapmuts on Sunday 29 January, around 23:00, when the suspect implicated in Andries’ death, although still at large, accidentally bumped into her.

“Ossie jokingly asked him why he had walked so close to me and he became serious, and the two started fighting. The fight was over quickly and Ossie went to the tavern to have a few drinks.”

According to Van Rooyen the suspect came back with a knife a few minutes later and stabbed Andries. “He ran through the crowd and stabbed Ossie in the back and head. He stabbed other people in the incident too. We then summoned an ambulance that happened to be nearby and Ossie was taken to Stellenbosch Hospital for medical assistance.”

After being discharged on Monday morning, Andries went back to the doctors for check-ups during the week, Van Rooyen said.

Ruché van Rooyen, girlfriend of the late Stellenbosch FC soccer player Oshwin “Ossie” Andries

She said from Wednesday (1 February) he continuously complained of a pain in his back and by Saturday afternoon (the 4th) it had become worse. “He stayed over at my place from Wednesday and my mom took care of his wounds. He was lying in my room that afternoon around 6pm when he complained again. His last words to me were to leave the room, and I could see he was in a lot of pain.”

As the stricken sportsman was being rushed to Paarl Hospital shortly afterwards he complained again of pain and suddenly had a seizure and died in his mother’s arms.

Andries’ brother Lee-Irvin said his brother had been a very humble person who was the same wherever he found himself. “He was the same everywhere, at home, with friends, on the street. There is no other way to describe him except as a loving and kind person. He was a phenomenal human being who cared deeply about others. He didn’t even want to open a case after being stabbed.”

Lee-Irvin said playing professional football and being in the public eye is something Andries struggled to come to terms with, as he still wanted to be a normal person who could walk the streets and be among everyday people.

Klapmuts police confirmed the incident and said an inquest docket was being investigated. “It is at this moment unclear whether he had succumbed to his injuries. No-one [had] been arrested yet in connection with the incident [at the time of publishing],” said spokesperson Warrant Officer Bernadine Arendse.

Andries, Stellenbosch FC’s youngest-ever goal scorer in the DStv Premiership, captained South Africa in the recent u-20 Afcon-Cosafa qualifiers.