Tributes from footballers, sports bodies, politicians for Jermaine Craig
The South African Football Association (Safa), Premier Soccer League (PSL), Kaizer Chiefs, fellow journalists, footballers and politicians were among those paying tribute to former journalist Jermaine Craig, who died on Monday.
Craig collapsed at a gym in Johannesburg and was rushed to Sandton Mediclinic but could not be revived. Craig is survived by his wife Michelle and sons Matthew and Christian.
His death at just 47 has shocked the sports and media communities.
The former senior sports reporter for The Star went on to a career working as Argus editor, GM of sport for Independent Newspapers and head of communications for the local organising committees (LOC) of the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa. He also worked in communications for South African Tourism.
As MD of Craig Communications he was a consultant for a number of organisations including Kaizer Chiefs, LaLiga, NBA Africa, 4Racing, the Confederation of African Football and Arena Holdings.
Craig worked closely with 2010 LOC CEO Danny Jordaan, now president of Safa, who weighed in among the tributes.
‘’This is a sad day for me and most of South Africans, especially those in the journalism and the communications fraternity where Jermaine worked for different entities,” Jordaan said.
‘’He was my head of media and communications during the 2010 World Cup where I was the CEO, and his expertise was treasured globally. He was a calm and diligent individual who was thorough at whatever he did. I am shocked, saddened and at a loss for words.”
The PSL said in a statement it is “deeply saddened by the passing of esteemed sports journalist and former 2010 World Cup head of communications Jermaine Craig”.
“A moment of silence will be observed in his honour at all midweek fixtures [for] DStv Premiership and Nedbank Cup qualification competition [matches].”
The PSL is deeply saddened by the passing of esteemed sports journalist and former 2010 FIFA World Cup Head of Communications, Jermaine Craig.— Official PSL (@OfficialPSL) December 5, 2023
The PSL extends heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult period.
A moment of silence will be observed… pic.twitter.com/fIJlQziftX
Chiefs said: “The Kaizer Chiefs family is shocked and distraught on hearing of the sudden and devastating passing of Jermaine Craig.
“No words can describe the despair we feel at losing a valued colleague and dear friend.”
The Kaizer Chiefs Family is shocked and distraught on hearing of the sudden and devastating passing of Jermaine Craig this morning.— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) December 4, 2023
No words can describe the despair we feel at losing a valued colleague and dear friend. Right now our thoughts and prayers are with his family and… pic.twitter.com/GZYLUzw8Nu
Daily Maverick associate editor Ferial Haffajee, a former Mail & Guardian and City Press editor, posted on X that a “true gent of journalism has put down his pen”.
“Jermaine Craig was wise with a big smile. He strode effortlessly across our often petty divisions to be loved by all. A master crafter of sports and the full media spectrum. May Michelle and the boys be deeply comforted.”
A true gent of journalism has put down his pen 🖊️. Jermaine Craig was wise with a big smile. He strode effortlessly across our often petty divisions to be loved by all. A master crafter of Sports and the full media spectrum. May Michelle and the boys be deeply comforted. 🙏🏾🤲🏾 pic.twitter.com/VeX9DNAIiX— Ferial Haffajee (@ferialhaffajee) December 5, 2023
Minister of tourism Patricia de Lille posted she was “shocked by the news ... He was a true gentleman, highly respected and much loved media professional”.
Shocked by the news of @JermaineCraig07 passing. He was a true gentleman, highly respected and much loved media professional. My deepest condolences to his wife @MichelleL_Craig and their children, his family, friends and colleagues. Rest in peace #JermaineCraig https://t.co/jb1pKIP2GG— Patricia de Lille (@PatriciaDeLille) December 5, 2023
Former Everton midfielder and Bafana Bafana 2010 World Cup star Steven Pienaar posted: “Rest in peace, my friend. I’m going to miss all those chats.”
Rest In Peace my friend.— Steven Pienaar (@therealstevenpi) December 4, 2023
Jermaine Craig. I’m gone miss all those chats. May God be with your beautiful family, condolences from Pienaar family 💔
Radio host Ashraf Garda posted on X: “I saw a post about Jermaine Craig on Facebook and without reading it told myself, ‘Hey you need to message Jermaine to say howzit and catch up’.
“And then I saw ‘#RIPJermaineCraig’. What horrible news, what terrible news, what sad, sad news.
I saw a post about Jermaine Craig on Facebook and without reading it told myself “hey you need to message Jermaine to say howzit and catchup as you have not done that in while”. And then I saw #RIPJermaineCraig. What horrible news, what terrible news, what sad sad news. Jermaine… pic.twitter.com/ofgCFDHXwH— Ashraf Garda (@AshrafGarda) December 4, 2023
“Jermaine was a bra. I first heard of him when he moved up from Cape Town to Joburg and began covering mainly soccer for The Star. I interviewed him many times when I hosted soccer-related shows on SAfm
“During the build-up to the 2010 World Cup he was Danny Jordaan’s go-to guy to get Danny on air. Jermaine was super at his work.
“I reminded Jermaine on a few occasions to write the back story on Jordaan and the 2010 World Cup. I don’t know how far he got with it. Now I really won’t know. RIP my football-loving friend from the Cape Flats to the world. His unique voice has been silenced.”
Other reaction on social media includes:
Statement— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) December 4, 2023
04 December 2023
The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is saddened by the untimely passing of two seasoned journalists, Jermaine Craig and Jeffrey Zikhali.
Jermaine’s family confirmed that he collapsed while at the gym on Monday, 4 December 2023. pic.twitter.com/z5x6sOyJkW
Jermaine Craig was a relentlessly cheerful, tenaciously kind human being who - for the better - shaped the careers of many young journalists. He really always wanted the best for us.— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) December 5, 2023
Sending so much love to Michelle and their beautiful boys.
This is a devastating loss. https://t.co/UcH9fYbGq8
Rest in peace, Jermaine Craig. Yet another young life in our industry having a premature end. It was a privilege to know you and work with you. Your legacy will live on.— Michael Abrahamson (@MemoryMentalist) December 4, 2023
Saddened by the news of the sudden death of Jermaine Craig (47). Jermaine was with SA Tourism and Independent Media for many years. Our prayers are with his wife @MichelleL_Craig and family. Jermaine was an amazing person and will be missed. pic.twitter.com/LQpeP1T97Z— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) December 4, 2023
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