The body of one of the most inspiring human beings that has ever lived is no longer alive but his words, his ideas, his actions and his life will never cease to inspire.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was sócio number 31,118 of Sporting Clube de Portugal and here's what the club had to say about his departure:
Sporting is mourning: Mandela left us
At the age of 95, Nelson Mandela left us, the first black President of South Africa and member of merit of Sporting Clube de Portugal. "Madiba" passed away this Thursday, in peace at home next to his family.
Nelson Mandela became a member of merit of our club on 28 July 1997. On that day he hosted in Pretoria a delegation from our club led by Sporting's president at the time José Roquette.
It should be noted that it was the first time Mandela hosted sports directors, a role he used to delegate to the Minister of Sports. Behind this affiliation was João Gomes, a Sporting member living in South Africa whom has done a great deal to expand the name of our club in that country.
Mandela, who is considered to be one of the most important figures in Universal History, was imprisoned 27 years in South Africa, after having fought a relentless battle against Apartheid, the racist system introduced in 1948 in order to discriminate the black population.
In 1990, he was finally released by the then President, Fredrik De Klerk, and, three years later, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1994, he won the first free elections of his country, staying as President for only one term until 1999.
"Democracy with hunger, without education and health to the majority, it is like an empty shell", was one of his motto and, for that reason, he did all he could so that Democracy would not be simply a word.
Nelson Mandela was an eternal example of Effort, Dedication, Devotion and Glory, our club's motto.
Sporting Clube de Portugal present to Nelson Mandela's family and to the whole South African people our condolences and expresses our profound sorrow. Nelson Mandela is one of humanity's figures that will stay with us forever.
This Friday, Sporting Clube de Portugal's flag will be flying at half mast in memory of our member of merit Nelson Mandela.