Former Bafana Bafana and 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winning coach Clive Barker has died, his family announced on Saturday.

Barker’s death was confirmed by COSAFA on behalf of the family. He died at the age of 78 after a battle with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).

In January this year, Barker was admitted to a Durban hospital where he was treated for an aneurysm, which affected blood flowing from his heart.


In a coaching career that spanned 42 years, Barker coached teams such as AmaZulu, Manning Rangers, Durban City, Durban Bush Bucks, Santos Cape Town, and Wits. His last club was Maritzburg United in 2016.

‘The Dog’ led Durban City to two back-to-back league titles in 1982 and 1983. Also led the Durban Bush Bucks to the honours in 1985.

He was also in charge when Bafana Bafana qualified for the first-ever World Cup in France in 1998. 

Legendary former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker has died
Clive Barker


“It is with profound sadness that the family of former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker announce his passing on Saturday, 10 June after a brave battle with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).

Clive, 78, led South Africa to their only continental triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in 1996. He also steered the side to a maiden World Cup appearance in France in 1998. He is fondly remembered by fans across the country, as has been evident by the tremendous support he received after falling ill. 

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the medical professionals who cared for Clive over the past six months,” the Barker family says. “He fought a brave battle and we are relieved he is now at peace.

“Clive will be remembered for his role in helping to bring a nation together around the 1996 Afcon. But for us, he was a loving husband, father and grandfather, and he will be dearly missed.

“We have been overwhelmed by the enormous outpouring of love and support for Clive. Since he was first diagnosed with LBD. This is a testament to the coach, friend and mentor he was to not only several generations of footballers. But also anyone who crossed his path in the sport he so dearly loved.   

“We will provide details of the memorial service in the coming days, and ask the family’s privacy be respected at this very difficult time.”