The passing on of former Warriors and Dynamos goalkeeper George Chigova yesterday following a heart attack has left football stakeholders shocked.
His death came barely a week after Warriors legend Rahman Gumbo also succumbed to a heart attack.
Chigova, who was 32 and left a young family of a wife and two children died at his base in South Africa.
Chigova was diagnosed with a heart condition earlier this year and had been on the sidelines since the season started.
He had parted ways with SuperSport United and rejoined Pretoria-based club following the relegation of Polokwane City in 2021. Before going to South Africa, Chigova played for Gunners and Dynamos, respectively.
He won league titles under Kalisto Pasuwa at Dynamos and also played in the Caf Champions League.
SuperSport United confirmed his death in a statement.
“It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the passing of former SuperSport United player, George Chigova,” the statement read.
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“George had two stints with the club, having joined us in 2014 from Dynamos in Zimbabwe.
“He rejoined SuperSport in 2020 after having played for Polokwane City from 2015.
“While he just started seven games for the club, he formed a great backup and training partner for the likes of Ronwen Williams, Ricardo Goss and Boalefela Pule.
“He also represented his country, Zimbabwe, making 32 appearances. George was a great club man, a gentleman loved by current and former players and everyone at the club.
"Even though his official time with SuperSport ended in June 2023, he was a great visitor to the training ground and stadium to support the team.
"We convey our deepest condolences to his family and friends both in SA and Zimbabwe during the difficult time and a very sad time."
Zimbabwe Football Association [Zifa] also mourned Chigova in a statement.
“Chigova played a pivotal role in Zimbabwe football, representing the Warriors with distinction at various international tournaments, including the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt," the Zifa statement read.
“His sudden passing has left a void in the hearts of football fans and the Zimbabwean sporting community. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Chigova’s family, friends and teammates during this difficult time.
“His contributions to Zimbabwe football will not be forgotten. May his soul rest in peace.”
Ex-Warriors players also paid tribute to the late former Dynamos shotstopper. Former Kaizer Chiefs striker took to X to express his grief.
"Life is precious. Rest easy. You were one hell of a character. We will pray for you. You will be remembered. Rest in peace George Chigova," he said.
Knowledge Musona said: "So sad to hear about the passing of George Chigova. My heartfelt condolences to the Chigova family. Rest in peace brother."
Four-time PSL champions, FCPlatinum also paid tribute to Chigova in a brief statement.
"The FC Platinum family joins the entire football fraternity in mourning the passing of a great football start George Chigova. Sending thoughts and prayers to the Chigova family during this difficult time."
Former teammates that include ex Warriors captain Knowledge Musona and Ovidy among many others expressed shock and grief at the news.