Zim@39: Misheck Chidzambwa goes down memory lane

Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
YOU cannot talk about the Warriors and leave out the Chidzambwa brothers — Sunday and Misheck.

Both were tough defenders for Zimbabwe, as well as Dynamos, and they both captained the national team at some stage.

Sunday had the honour of being the first skipper of the national team after Independence.

He took over the armband from George Shaya, who was the captain from 1975 up to 1979, during a period when the team was isolated from international football.

Almost 30 years on, Chidzambwa remains an iconic figure in Zimbabwean football.

He is the only coach to lead a local football team to the final of a continental club tournament, with Dynamos coming within 90 minutes of being crowned African champions in 1998.

He also became the first coach to guide the Warriors to the AFCON finals.

The veteran gaffer is expected to write another piece of history when he guides the Warriors for the second time at the AFCON finals in Egypt in June.

Although Sunday’s profile is bigger than his younger brother Misheck, the latter has also done well for himself in this game.

He made history by becoming the first captain to lift silverware with the Warriors when Zimbabwe won the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup at Rufaro in 1985.

The fact that we would wait until 2000 to win another tournament — the COSAFA Cup — illustrates the importance of that early silverware.

“It was a tough match. Kenya was a powerhouse and had won the cup twice,” recalls Misheck.

“I was more of a utility player and could play right back and sometimes centre half.

“Other players in that team were Joel Shambo (late), David Mwanza (late) and goalkeeper Japhet “Shortcat” Mparutsa.

“We were so excited to win the trophy. We were so passionate about football, yet we were not full-time footballers.

“We would come from our different work-places and train after hours. I worked for Zimbabwe Republic Police (Signals department).’’

Misheck played for about five years for the national team before hanging up his boots in 1987 due to a leg injury.

“It’s a God-given talent and we are happy to contribute as a family. We just played our football, but in the process also created history,” he said.

Misheck tried his hand in coaching with stints at Tanganda, Chapungu, Sporting Lions and Blue Ribbon.

Source : The Herald

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