Emile Baron, the Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper, who played for Lillestrøm SK, has received support from football fans in Norway after reports of him living in poverty and relying on handouts to feed his family. According to News24, two TV2 reports detailed Baron’s struggles, and the official supporters’ group of Lillestrøm, Kanari-Fansen, led the fundraising effort that raised 1.1 million Kroner (R1.9m) to support Baron and his family.
Baron was the goalkeeper for Lillestrøm from January 1999 to July 2004, and the fundraising efforts are thanks to his popularity with the club. After being evicted from a single-bedroom house, Baron has already received some money, and supporters are planning alternative accommodation for his family of four.
A TV2 report highlighted Baron’s difficult situation on March 18, which showed the former goalkeeper had little left, owning only a bag of clothes and collecting empty bottles for extra money. The second report revealed that Baron and his family had been evicted from their small house, prompting fans in Norway to launch a fundraising campaign.
Lillestrøm and Kanari-Fansen brought in former PSL CEO Kjetil Siem and the former competitions manager Kabelo “KB” Bosilong to ensure the money could be disbursed to Baron responsibly and to arrange suitable accommodation for him and his family. Baron, who played for Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United and Wits, has been mostly unemployed since breaking his leg in a Premiership match in 2013. He tried to commit suicide four times, most recently in November 2022. He made six appearances in Bafana colours between 2002 and 2010.