Takudzwa Chitsiga

Sports Reporter

FORMER Black Aces and Hwange midfielder, Thomas “Monkee” Muchanyarei, has died.

He was 63.

He passed away at Sally Mugabe Hospital on Sunday evening after battling hypertension.

His sister, Sophia Muchanyarei, confirmed the death. She said the family was still in a state of shock.

“We have lost someone who was a unifier for the family and the community at large. He made his name as a footballer and many people knew him quite well in and around Mufakose,” said Sophia.

“My brother passed away at Harare Hospital after suffering from hypertension.

“Thomas was born in 1961 here in Mufakose and we were 12 in our family. It was myself and Thomas who were surviving and I am at a loss of words as he was my only sibling alive.

“I could not believe it as he only got sick last week and we thought he would recover but things took a turn for the worst on Sunday.”

He joined Black Aces where he made his name.

He was part of the great Black Aces side that had footballers such as Emmanuel “Shumba” Nyahuma, Charles “Star Black” Kaseke, Mike “Dread” Madzivanyika, Francis “Gazza”, Jeyimani, Stanley “Jaws” Mashezha and Percy “Master” Mwase.

Veteran football administrator Francis Zimunya said Muchanyarei was a good ball player who could have gone a long way if he played during this era. He was a good dribbler who caused so many challenges to defenders and opponents.

“It is so painful that we lost him. He was in the class of Moses Chasweka when it comes to good wingers,” said Zimunya.

Muchanyarei is survived by wife Sita Mica, two children Itayi and Thomas Jnr, and several grandchildren.

Mourners are gathered at House Number 24 Murambaonde Street in Mufakose.

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