BY SPORTS REPORTER
THE family of former Caps United skipper Joe Mugabe, who succumbed to cancer in England on Sunday morning, says it is organising for his burial back home.
Joe’s brother Innocent yesterday indicated that they were doing the paperwork for the repatriation of the league title winner’s body.
He, however, could not say with certainty what would happen as everything depended on protocols and authorities.
“We haven’t planned anything at moment. We need to do paperwork first before we make any announcement because we don’t want to say this and then we are told that regulations don’t allow us to do this and that. Maybe if we can wait for the next two days, I will be in a better position to say what we are planning,” Innocent said.
Mugabe started playing for the Green Machine’s senior team in 1988 and was voted among the country’s Soccer Stars of the Year in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 2001.
He was also voted the club’s players’ player of the year in 1993, 1994, 1998 and 2001.
Kode, as he was popularly known in his heyday, when Caps United were known as the “Cup Kings”, also had a stint with Sporting Lions.
Caps United president Farai Jere described Mugabe as Mr Caps because of his dedication to the Caps cause during and after his playing time.
“If I could sum up Joe Mugabe’s football career in three words, it would be Mr Caps United.
In my life, I have heard and read a lot about most of our ex-players being described as legends, but for Caps United in particular and Zimbabwean football at large, Kode was an icon,” Jere said.
“An iconic figure who rose from the dusty streets of Mabvuku and had already shown huge potential, while turning for the Caps United juniors and leading his Churchill High School team.”
Joe was a natural leader on and off the field and one of his biggest attributes was courage and commitment.
He was the embodiment of the Caps United culture and a passionate man who hated losing.
Kode bridged the generational gap at Caps United as he ably led a crop of young players such as Cheche Billiat and George Nechironga that came in to fill in the void created by the retirement of other greats such as the late Joel Shambo.
To underline Joe’s commitment and passion for his beloved Caps United, he played an integral part in the formation of the Caps United UK-based legends who include the likes of Liberty Masunda, Frank Nyamukuta, Timothy Chirozvani and Tichaona Nyenda.
“As Caps United management, we regularly kept in touch with Joe and his team of UK legends and it had always been our fervent hope that he could one day return to Zimbabwe and play another more direct role at the club with which he achieved huge successes and helped maintain the legacy of Cup Kings.”
Mugabe, who left the country in 2002, battled with cancer for some years, but didn’t want to go public about his condition.
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