Webb’s death due to lung failure

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FORMER Highlanders and Njube Sundowns player Mephias Webb, who collapsed and died during a social soccer match on Sunday afternoon at Bango Grounds in Mpopoma, Bulawayo, succumbed to lung failure, his brother has said.

BY FORTUNE MBELE

He was playing for Mthala and he died on the pitch. Milton Webb Ndlovu, Mephias’ brother, said a post mortem was conducted on his late brother yesterday morning and he will be buried at West Park Cemetery in Bulawayo tomorrow or Thursday.

“The doctors say his lungs had overgrown and he must have run too much. His lungs failed him and he choked. It was asphyxiation,“ he said.

“I understand he came in as a substitute and scored four goals during that match. I am running around with the assistance of Gift Banda (Bulawayo deputy mayor) trying to get a things in place. If all goes well, he will be buried either tomorrow or on Thursday at West Park Cemetry.”

Banda was co-owner of the now-defunct Njube Sundowns and at the time of his death, Webb, who was assistant coach to Philani “Beefy” Ncube at Southern Region Soccer League side Bulawayo City, was working for the deputy mayor at his private enterprise.

Soon after learning of Webb’s death, Banda posted on his social network Facebook account: “I can’t describe how I feel. I have lost a brother and friend. Why Mephe, why? Part of me died today. Life will never be the same. Rest in peace, my brother.”
Zifa also passed a message of condolence to the Webb family.

“We are deeply grieved by the untimely death of Mephias Webb, a dedicated football worker who etched his name in the history of local football both as a player and a coach,” Zifa said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased in this difficult time of bereavement. May they find solace in the Almighty. May the soul of our dear departed brother rest in eternal peace.”

Premier Soccer League (PSL) chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele said: “The PSL has been saddened by the passing away of former Highlanders FC, Masvingo United FC and Njube Sundowns FC player Mephias Webb.

“We would like to assure the Webb family and the entire football fraternity that our thoughts are with you in this time of sorrow. His achievements and contribution to football will remain alive in our hearts and minds.

“He will be remembered as a great team player and his on-the-field competitive style and skill were only surpassed by his incredible positive influence and zest for life off the field. May the love of those around you help you through the days ahead.”

Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda of Mthala, said he was not at Bango during the tragic incident, but conveyed his condolences to Webb’s family.

“It was a disaster, I am still shocked and I don’t know where to start. I watched Mephias from his days at Mthala Juniors where he played with the likes of Bekithemba Ndlovu. Mthala has lost a leader. ,” Sibanda, a former Highlanders chairman and manager, said.

He is survived by wife Sichelesile, a daughter Melisa (16) and son Mephias Junior (2). Mourners are gathered at 50214/3 Mpopoma Flats.