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Football pays tribute to Scania



Zimbabwean football has again been robbed of another legend following the passing on of gentle giant, Misheck “Scania” Chidzambga, on Thursday night.

Only last week, another legend, David Mandigora, departed and Chidzambga’s loss comes exactly a year after another DeMbare legend Biggie Zuze breathed his last.

Chidzambwa, who succumbed to cancer, was 66 and he left behind a wife and two children.

He is set to be buried at his rural home in Mhondoro on Monday.

His elder brother, Sunday, said his sibling’s death was a huge blow both to the family and the football fraternity at large.

“We are disheartened by the death of our brother who was also a  soccer legend. Misheck was a unifier within the family and he was a straight talker. He was a key member within the family. He was a gentleman and very humble,” Sunday said.

“When it comes to sport, he played a huge role, especially for the Dynamos Club and the national team. He has departed with his soccer knowledge, but to those who were willing to learn, I think they got something from him.”

Misheck was the first coach to win the Cosafa Cup in 2000 after lifting the Cecafa Cup as captain in 1985.

Sunday said his brother was diagnosed with cancer last year and underwent an operation to try and save his life.

“He had an operation last year after a lump was discovered. The idea was to later remove the lump, but after the latest tests, whose results came yesterday, it was discovered that the lump had grown bigger and he passed on the same night,” Sunday said.

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) led tributes for the former Chapungu coach.

“A warrior of ‘firsts’ departs. Our sincere condolences to the Chidzambga family and the local football family at large following the passing of legendary Warriors player and coach Misheck Chidzambga. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased. Chidzambga leaves an indelible legacy of a winner. May his soul rest in peace,” Zifa said in a statement.

His former club Dynamos also followed suit, stating that the legend was going to be greatly missed and his legacy would always be remembered.

His former Dynamos teammate, July Sharara, described him as a rare breed of a footballer and tactician.

“He was a roommate and friend of mine during and after our time at Dynamos in the 1990s,” Sharara told NewsDay Sport.

“He was just a very intelligent man, the ultimate professional, a brilliant player and mostly a great leader.”

Sharara said Misheck and Sunday’s combination in central defence was as solid as a rock and it was behind Dynamos’ success during their playing days.

That, according to Sharara, raised Misheck’s profile as a player and later as a coach.

“To us, he was a special player, because unlike some, he was sociable and passionate. We travelled to so many countries, but what really made him good and disciplined was the presence of his brother, Sunday, in the team.

“They played well together and they pushed each other to do well in every aspect. We could have easily named them the best pair of brothers during our time,” he said.

“I recall one trip where we went to Nigeria, we arrived there and the opposite team was bullying us and promising to beat us by 10 goals because we came from Zimbabwe.

“But amid all the scary events and dirty tricks, Misheck stood his ground and was the one who spoke for us. We eventually won the match 2-1.”

For his coaching career, Misheck remained a doyen even when he was unattached to any club, following his last stint at the now-defunct Blue Ribbon, then in the Premier League in 2011.

He also embarked on amateur leagues and junior development programmes with Universals, where he worked hand in glove with Sharif Musa.

“His coaching was special, it’s evident from his success in charge of the Warriors when he won the first Cosafa Cup.

“Some of us never made serious strides as far a coaching, but we looked up to them as representatives of our generation. Representatives of our style of play.

“Together with his brother, their mark as far as coaching is undefeated and I hope their legacy and success will always be celebrated,” Sharara said.

The former Dynamos man also coached Chapungu, Sporting Lions and Tanganda.

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