DOUGLAS Tanyanyiwa – a former Dynamos benefactor and owner of Douglas Warriors FC – was laid to rest at his rural home in Chikomba yesterday.
Tanyanyiwa died on Monday morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 64.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Several football personalities, including former Dynamos players, were among hundreds of people, who paid their last respects to the man credited for his contribution to football especially grassroots development of the game.
Former Premier Soccer League chairman, Tapiwa Matangaidze attended the funeral. Darlington Sarupinda, who played for Dynamos in the 1980s alongside the likes of Elvis “Chuchu” Chiweshe, Moses Chunga, Memory Mucherahowa, Angirai Chapo, Francis Shonhayi and Allan Mapila, among others, gave moving graveside speeches.
Sarupinda, who is the son of the late Obadiah, one of the founder members of Douglas Warriors alongside Dynamos juniors coach, Lloyd Chigove, said Zimbabwean football had been robbed of one of its best brains.
“Tanyanyiwa had brilliant football ideas. His contribution to football development was evident at grassroots level. He supported football from 1999 and helped put schools from Wedza and Chikomba such as Chemhanza and Warikandwa on the map. He raised the standard of the game in his community and I think this was one of his biggest contributions,” Sarupinda said.
“Tanyanyiwa invited Prince Edward and Churchill schools to the Douglas Tanyanyiwa tournament, which helped give exposure to players in Wedza and Chikomba community. That helped them to compete at national level and even went on to win the NASH (National Association of Secondary Heads) Coca-Cola tournaments. He also established an academy in Cranborne that produced a number of players, who went on to play in the league and also for the Warriors. Apart from establishing and sponsoring Douglas Warriors, he was also a Dynamos benefactor.”
Matangaidze said football had lost a fine gentleman, whose contribution to local soccer, not only in Chikomba, but at national level, where he identified and developed several players, who went on to shine.
“I remember him and Rafik Khan inviting me to become PSL chairman. I even continued to enjoy his support after as PSL chairman,” he said.
Some of the players, who are products of his football development programme include the likes of Ronald Chitiyo, Evans Gwekwerere, Guthrie Zhokinyu, Gilbert Mapemba and Raphael Manuvire among others.
Tanyanyiwa is survived by his wife and four children.