PSL boss pays tribute to Chigova

Chigova was a celebrated goalkeeper whose indomitable spirit shone brightly even in the face of a nagging heart problem.

PREMIER Soccer League chairperson Farai Jere has paid tribute to former Warriors, Dynamos and Gunners goalkeeper George Chigova who died in South Africa on Wednesday.

Chigova was a celebrated goalkeeper whose indomitable spirit shone brightly even in the face of a nagging heart problem.

The 32-year-old had a lengthy career that spanned an impressive 13 topflight seasons in Zimbabwe and South Africa, respectively. At the time of his death, he was without a club after he was sidelined due to a heart ailment diagnosed in July.

He was part of Dynamos' trailblazing class which won PSL titles between 2011 and 2014. Chigova also helped the Warriors win the Cosafa Cup in 2017 and 2018.

Like many, Jere expressed shock at learning of Chigova’s death which came a few days after former Warriors midfielder and coach Rahman Gumbo died also due to a heart condition.

“It was with a great sense of shock that I learnt of the death of Zimbabwe international goalkeeper George Chigova,” Jere said in a statement. “Indeed, death has no shame.

“How can it show its grim face on our nation again while we are mourning the iconic Rahman ‘Rush’ Gumbo who passed away in Botswana over the weekend. We have lost two football legends inside a week.

”It’s painful. A few months ago, Chigova was reported to be unwell but news that the 32-year-old was on the mend gave us hope of seeing him back between the sticks, making those jaw-dropping saves that defied his huge frame and gravity too.

“Sadly, this was not to be as the former Gunners and Dynamos goalkeeper passed away on a day the Warriors were set to make their long-awaited return to international football away in Rwanda.

“A Premier Soccer League title winner, Chigova will be remembered as a gentle giant and a fine goalkeeper who remained humble as he rose from the nursery of Aces Youth Academy to the dizzy heights of being the Warriors number one goalkeeper.

“May the Chigova family be comforted by the knowledge that their grief is shared by the nation,” Jere added.

Aces Youth Academy, who nurtured Chigova, also paid tribute to the goalkeeper’s contribution to the growth of local football.

“George. You were on this earth for a short time, but the things you achieved for your family and our country were immense. We met in 2006 when you were enrolled into the Aces Youth Soccer Academy as a young but big goalkeeper, and your impact was instant. Only a year later, you were winning the goalkeeper of the tournament awards at the MATAFI and Windmill tournaments, and then the golden glove award at the Cosafa 2007 Men’s Under-17 Championships. From then you graduated on to continue your amazing success at SuperSport, Polokwane City and the Warriors,” the academy said in a statement.

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