Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
VETERAN football administrator Willard Manyengavana, who died on Monday, was laid to rest at Glen Forest Memorial Park in Harare yesterday.
The funeral was attended by the who-is-who of local football and they described him as a unifier who worked hard to see football develop.
ZIFA president Felton Kamambo said the timing of his death was cruel as they needed him to help them stabilise the game.
“Willard was a committed administrator, a very experienced one and he was also a unifier and it’s unfortunate he has been taken away from us.
“When we had problems, Willard would always be advising, he had time for football, he could talk to anyone and had time for everyone.
“He wished that there should be peace in football and we are going to work throughout day and night to make sure that our ship is stable.
“He did well in the Northern Region, he was handling that role professionally and the community and businesspeople had actually accepted him.’’
Family representative, Evaristo Benyera, said they had lost a pillar.
“From an early age he demonstrated the ability to bring people together and he lived his dream at the end.
“He has taken our family name somewhere and the void will be difficult to fill,” said Benyera.
It was also revealed Manyengavana once took a homeless boy to take care of him.
Tatenda Muyeza, who was taken from a local church, said he was at pains to describe his loss.
“I had nowhere to stay and he took me and, together with his wife, allowed me to stay in his house back in 1998 and he looked after me.
“No one knew that we were not related as he treated me like one of his sons,’’ said Muyeza.
The domestic football leadership, including PSL chairman Farai Jere, suspended ZIFA vice-president Gift Banda, the legendary Moses Chunga, David Mandigora, Charles Mabika, David George, Kenny Ndebele, Hussein Amidu, David Sengu, Justice Majabvi, Edward Sadomba, were among people who converged at Glen Forest Memorial Park.