Former Warriors captain and legendary striker Peter Ndlovu has signed for Premiership soccer side Black Mambas.
Ndlovu had been signed by Division One side Highfield United, who immediately loaned him to Mambas for an undisclosed amount and period.
It also emerged that after Dynamos lost out on Ndlovu, two of their key players Washington Arubi and Benjamin Marere had also been signed on by Highfield United but will turn out for Mambas this season.
Highlanders’ Protasho Kabwe and Fortune Ncube from Hwange have also been signed by Highfield United.
Arubi has reportedly joined on a three-year deal, Ncube has a two-year contract, Marere also has a three-year deal while Kabwe signed a three-year contract-all yesterday.
Marere and Arubi were on the Dynamos Champions League list.
Ndlovu ended all speculation linking him to the side that gave him fame Highlanders and Harare giants Dynamos who wanted him for the Caf Orange Champions League when he announced his intention to have a swansong with the police outfit.
The police team is sponsored by diversified company Twalumba Holdings, who have bought Division One side Highfield United.
Highfield, represented by their chairman Zivanayi Chiyangwa during the announcement yesterday, now have the rights to Ndlovu and have immediately loaned him out. Ndlovu, who turns 38 on February 25, will now play under his elder brother Madinda, who is the technical director at Mambas and newly bought Highfield.
Twalumba executive chairman Nkululeko Sibanda said: “I can officially announce that Peter Ndlovu has joined Highfield United and has been loaned to Black Mambas.”
Peter, a CAF coaching licence holder, said: “I will see how far my legs will carry me. It’s not about getting a first team jersey at Mambas but the focal point is the development of the game and whatever inspiration I will bring to the boys.
“I will give my best in football; age is nothing but a number, look at Roger Milla. He played a little part in the qualifiers for the World Cup but was called up because he was an inspiration and a leader in the Cameroon team.
“I am not trying to build my name, I have done that. I am paying back to the youngsters out there because I can also learn something from them. Some of these things they do these days, I can’t even do them, so I will also learn from them.
“There are youngsters that are willing to learn and with the knowledge that I have, I believe I will be able to inspire some youngsters to greater heights and make other players, especially the youngsters, fulfil their dreams and greatness in football.”
He will juggle his role as a player at Mambas and devote part of his time at Highfield, who are eyeing a Premiership slot in 2012.
Ndlovu was originally spotted by Coventry City scout John Sillett, prior to his official signing from Highlanders by Terry Butcher in July 1991.
He made an immediate impact by scoring away at Arsenal and then became the toast of Highfield Road with a thunderbolt winner against Aston Villa in November 1991, endearing him to the Sky Blues fans.
It is thought the Sky Blues turned down a then-massive £4 million offer from Arsenal at the end of the 1994 season for Ndlovu’s services.
Ndlovu eventually moved to Birmingham City in July 1997, signed by Trevor Francis for a fee of £1,6m. After spending time on loan at Huddersfield Town in 2000, he moved to Sheffield United in February 2001.
He then signed for South African Premier Soccer League outfit Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2004 off-season and scored 20 goals in 81 appearances, winning the league championship twice in the process.
A veteran of 100 international games, Ndlovu is the all-time leading scorer for the Zimbabwean national team with 38 goals.
He also led his nation to qualification for their first African Cup of Nations finals (held in 2004 in Tunisia) as well as their second appearance at the 2006 tournament in Egypt.
He played several international games alongside former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar in the early-1990s.
Twalumba will continue their sponsorship of Mambas as they have a three-year deal.
“We have a three-year deal that we intend to see through at Mambas. What we wanted to do was to start from the bottom, that is why we bought Highfield United.
“We have learnt a lot on football administration from Mambas and we will apply that to Highfield,” said Sibanda.