FORMER Warriors and Zimbabwe Saints striker Shane Khamal died in Auckland, New Zealand, on Sunday after battling with cancer for about four months.
His brother Edris yesterday confirmed Shane’s passing away saying the former Cosmos, Triangle, Zimbabwe Saints and Kaizer Wolves player was diagnosed with cancer in August his condition deteriorated until the time of his death.
“He was diagnosed with cancer of the liver early in August. At first he was diagnosed with colon cancer, but it had already spread to his liver. He was put on chemotherapy, but it never helped. We went there (New Zealand) with my two sisters at the end of August and spent three weeks with him. Then he was still fine and walking, but had lost a lot of weight and his condition started deteriorating. About a month ago, his condition his condition deteriorated badly, but he held on until the time of his death,” Edris said.
Born on February 1 1966 in a family of three boys and three girls in which he was the third born, Shane did his primary education at Barham Green Primary School in Bulawayo in the 1970s before moving to Founders High School.
While at Founders, where he also was a boxer, Shane played for Cosmos together with brothers Pernell and Henry “Bully” Mckop and former Eagles defender Solly Habib.
Edris said Shane won a Rhodesian championship title in boxing in 1979. After school, he moved to the Lowveld, where he played for Triangle in Division One, being apprenticed as a fitter and turner there.
He moved back to Bulawayo where he joined Zimbabwe Saints and was part of the championship-winning team that was coached by Roy Barreto in which he featured with other greats, the Mckop brothers, Joseph Machingura, Jimmy Phiri, Misheck Sibanda and the late John Sibanda among others.
While at Zimbabwe Saints he was part of the national team that featured against Algeria in a World Cup qualifier.
After top-flight action, Shane and Pernell formed Kaizer Wolves which started in the lower ranks and while in Division Two they got through to the quarter-finals of the Zifa Cup after beating Rio Tinto, then coached by Joseph Zulu and featured Shepherd Muradzikwa.
They lost 4-2 to Tanganda in the semi-final.
After that he went on to play social football and left for New Zealand in 2001 where he worked for a conveyer belting installations and maintenance company after which he commuted to Australia in 2012 where he worked for a mining company.
Pondering on returning to work in New Zealand, Shane discovered he was not well in August and retired from work.
He leaves behind two daughters Nicole and Dienga, son Brendon he had with ex-wife Collete and another son Daniel.
“He was such a vibrant person and did his best for everybody. It’s a sad loss. He was very close to Pernell (Mckop). On
behalf of the family, I would like to thank friends and family for all the support and messages of comfort during his illness,” Edris said.
Edris said Shane will be cremated in New Zealand tomorrow and the family will hold a memorial service at St Anthony’s Catholic Church in Barham Green on November 29 after sibling Bernadette would have brought his ashes.
The brother said that was according to Shane’s wish.
A devastated Pernell yesterday said: “It is with regret that I break the news that former national team player and Zimbabwe Saints legend and title winning 1988 member Shane John Khamal has lost his life in Auckland New Zealand to cancer. Shane Khamal, born and bred in Barham.
“Green, Bulawayo began his career with Queens Sports Club, before playing for a community based team in BG called Cosmos, before moving to Triangle, for work commitments and played for Triangle FC. When he moved back to Bulawayo Roy Barreto and Tendayi Chiedza recruited him to play for the record breaking Zimbabwe Saints 1988 title winning side.
“His form saw him being selected for the national team in a World Cup qualifier against Algeria. He was powerful not only in physique but also in his play on the right hand side of a very talented Saints team. Scored and set up many memorable goals during his two-year stay at Saints. Shane finished off his career playing with Kaizer Wolves in BG whom he helped reach the quarter-finals of the Zifa Cup, as a Third Division team. Today I bid farewell to my friend and brother, father to four beautiful children.
“Go well Shane and score a few goals in heaven for me.”