The Sunday News
THE Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation has described the late George Shaya as a hero whose death has robbed the country of its finest football talent.
Government is also worried about the alarming rate at which football legends are dying, with Shaya becoming the fourth prominent former footballer to die in the last three months. Shaya, who was accorded a State assisted funeral, passed away on Tuesday and was buried at Warren Hills Cemetery in Harare yesterday.
His death came a fortnight after the demise of former Warriors and Highlanders manager Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda. Sibanda died two days after the country had lost another football luminary, Joe Mugabe, who passed away in Reading, England on August 8.
The first Soccer Star of the Year in independent Zimbabwe, David “Yogi” Mandigora, died on June 12 before two former Dynamos stars Misheck Chidzambwa and Simon Sachiti, died a month later.
The Director of Sport in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Eugenia Chidhakwa, who represented the Government at Shaya’s burial, expressed grief over the continued loss of football legends.
“As the ministry we are pained. About three months ago we buried David Mandigora, Joe Mugabe’s body is yet to arrive back home (from England) and today we are burying George Shaya,” said Chidhakwa.
Prominent football personalities including the legendary former Warriors coach Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa, 1973 Soccer Star of the Year Ernest Kamba and Dynamos board chairman Bernard Marriot attended the burial.
Ex-DeMbare forward David George, who was Shaya’s teammate at the Glamour Boys, was also among those at Warren Hills Cemetery.
The burial also brought together a host of former players who included Eric Aisam, Clayton Munemo, Stewart Murisa, Henry Chari, Eddie Mashiri, Desmond Maringwa and Kelvin Mushangazhike.
Former Caps United striker and 1990 Soccer Star of the Year, George Nechironga, former DeMbare coach Lloyd Chigowe, Ralph Kawondera, Hussein Amidu, Zifa technical director Wilson Mutekede and Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare also joined the Shaya family and DeMbare supporters at the burial.