DOMESTIC football reacted with a collective sense of shock and sadness at the news of the death of one the game’s former stars Gift “Guava” Kamuriwo.
by SPORTS REPORTER
The former Black Rhinos midfielder and manager, who also played for the national team, succumbed to meningitis at the 2 Brigade hospital early morning yesterday.
Kamuriwo has been battling the ailment since the beginning of the year.
Former Caps United and Warriors forward, Alois Bunjira, who was a friend of the deceased said Zimbabwe had lost a good and passionate football mind.
“Its sad. We worked together at the academy (Alban). He used to come and help out. He was a very good player during his time and humble guy. He played for Mhangura and then Black Rhinos where his performances earned him a call to the national team. That’s what good players do, they shine wherever they are. He was such a humble guy,” said Bunjira.
His former coach Droment Chirova said Zimbabwean football in general and Black Rhinos in particular, had lost a great servant.
Chirova said Guava as he was affectionately known was one of the greatest midfielders to play for the army side and that he was at the same level of legends like Stanford “Stix” Mtizwa and Stanley “Sinyo” Ndunduma.
“We have lost a great person. I worked with him during our time and we won trophies. He was my captain and he contributed a lot to the cause of the team. I am very sorry for the Kamuriwo family. He was perhaps at the same level as Hamid Dhana, Stanley ‘Sinyo’ Ndunduma and Stanford Mtizwa. We will miss him and may his soul rest in peace,” he said.
Black Rhinos supporters secretary Luckson Muradzika said Zimbabwean football had been robbed of a committed coach.
“It’s a great loss to Zimbabwean football. Kamuriwo was a team leader and a good player too during his playing days. He had been unwell since the start of the year. Unfortunately he lost his battle against meningitis this morning,” he said.
Kamuriwo started his football career at the now defunct Mhangura club before coming to the capital to join army side Black Rhinos where he banged 16 goals to win the Golden Boot in 2002.
He helped his club to a second position finish that year and he was voted first runner up for the Soccer Stars of the Year.
The former Black Rhinos captain also played for the Warriors having been called up to the national team in 2003. He also participated in the Confederation Cup in which they lost to Morocco’s Raja Casablanca. However, an ankle injury sustained in 2004 cut short his career.
He went into coaching in 2012 taking charge of Seven Flames a second division side. He also had a stint as assistant coach at Cranborne Bullets Football Club.