By Ellina Mhlanga
Legendary coach, Sunday Chidzambwa, has shared his grief following the death of the British army veteran, Tom Moore, who inspired him to do a pitch walk to try and raise funds in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ironically, the 100-year-old, died after contracting Covid-19.
Chidzambwa completed a total of 5kms, at Raylton Sports Club, walking 50 times from one goal post to another, last year, in an initiative that was meant to raise money to purchase protective clothing, for frontline workers.
The former Warriors coach, was joined by fellow legends, George Shaya and David Mandigora, among others, for the charity pitch walk.
The move sent out a strong message, on the need to come together as a nation, in the fight against the pandemic.
After completing the walk, Chidzambwa said he was inspired by Moore, who walked 100 laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, last year, to raise money for the NHS charities.
He raised close to £33 million and was hailed as a British hero.
Moore died recently.
While they may not have met, or known each other, Chidzambwa revealed he was saddened by the death of the man who motivated him, to go the extra-mile, in the fight against the pandemic.
“It’s difficult for me to say much. I mean, it’s sad that someone who thought of such an initiative passed on, really,” said Chidzambwa.
“It’s only that age was not on his side and, I mean, every time such a person passes, on it’s sad.
“So, it has really touched me.
“It’s sad and may his soul rest in peace. He did a huge thing for his country and I think he must be honoured, be remembered for what he did.”
He said after seeing Moore’s initiative on TV, it just rang into his mind that he also needed to do a similar thing, in this country.
However, the former Warriors coach said it’s unfortunate the initiative did not receive the support they felt it deserved.
“I saw it on television, then I thought, maybe, we should also do that for our country although, for us, the response was very poor,” said Chidzambwa.
“I am not sure (why) but I think due to Covid-19, it affected our economy a lot, that’s what I feel.”
He said that they have been waiting for some well-wishers, who promised to honour their pledges, to come along and make their contributions.
But, it appears, they are not forthcoming. And, they are likely to hand over the items they have received to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, later this month.
“We are still waiting for some items that we were promised but I don’t think we will get them,” he said.
“We are still waiting for people, who promised us some items, I think this month, we are just going to round-off, and send what we have.
“I don’t think those who had promised will act, so around about the 20th, we will hand over what we got, to the Ministry of Health.”
Despite not getting a favourable response, Chidzambwa does not regret the step he took to be among those, who have taken it upon themselves, to try and give a hand, in the fight against the pandemic.
“We have to do this. If we don’t do it, who will do it for us?
“If something comes up, especially myself, I am prepared to do it,” said Chidzambwa.
The coach’s gesture was a significant one as he has been walking with a limp, since he sustained a career-ending leg fracture playing for Dynamos, in a league match against Rio Tinto in 1983.
The Queen led tributes to Moore, known as Captain Sir Tom, saying this was in “recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world”.
His daughters said they “shared laughter and tears” with their father in their final few hours together.
His family said due to other medication he was receiving for pneumonia, he was unable to be vaccinated.
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, described him as a hero.
“Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the word. In the dark days of the Second World War he fought for freedom and in the face of this country’s deepest post-war crisis he united us all, he cheered us all up, and he embodied the triumph of the human spirit.
“He became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world. Our thoughts are with his daughter Hannah and all his family.”