Gundani given rousing send off

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WARRIORS legend Paul Gundani, who died on Wednesday and will buried at Fitchlea Cemetery today, was yesterday given a rousing send-off when hundreds of football supporters thronged Torwood and Baghdad stadiums in Kwekwe to bid him farewell.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

The hearse carrying his body became the centre of attraction, as it blocked the centre of Robert Mugabe Street, as supporters barricaded the road and started playing football in central Kwekwe in honour of the late Dream Team defender.

Defunct Ziscosteel Football Club secretary-general and former player, Jawadu Daudi, while addressing mourners in Torwood where Gundani became a star as a first team player for Ziscosteel in 1983 when he was still in Form Two at Drake Secondary School, said his death was a blow to Kwekwe, Zifa and the entire football family.

The atmosphere was electric, as his body was driven past his former school, Drake, with teachers and students making a guard of honour in memory of one of Zimbabwe’s finest football sons.

Paul Gundani pallbearers

Gundani was to earn his first national team cap as a junior in 1984 before graduating into the Dream Team.

Benedict Moyo, who also played for the national team, said his heart was bleeding because of Gundani’s sudden death after a short illness, saying the Footballers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general still had a lot to offer to develop professionalism in the game.

In the last lap of honour, the body of the late legend was paraded from Redcliff to Torwood then to Baghdad Stadium, where he finished his career, playing for the now defunct Lancashire Steel, which he turned out for from 1994.

His body lay on the centre field as friends and former teammates played a farewell game in his honour.

Former Ziscosteel player, James Takavada, addressing mourners, said Gundani had convinced him to run for the Zifa presidency.

“He came to me and persuaded me to run for Zifa presidency and I took heed of his call,” he claimed.

Gundani was also employed by Lancashire Steel as a pensions and welfare officer during his days as a player. He was later elevated to become team manager for Lancashire Steel after he retired from playing football.

Paul Gundani street football

Gundani was also a member of the Latter Day Saints bishopric, led by Bishop Maclean Nyandoro, and also member of the Radio Kwelaz team.

Nyandoro said a church service would be held in the Mining Museum auditorium this morning before he is laid to rest.

Meanwhile, another former Ziscosteel FC great, Thomas Mupofu, who was born in 1954 and played for the club from 1975 until 1980, and was part of the team that won the Castle Cup in 1978, passed away in Torwood on Thursday after succumbing to cancer.

Moyo confirmed the death, saying this was a dark week in the history of football especially for Ziscosteel.

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