AS Chegutu comes to a standstill on Saturday for the biggest football match ever played in the town, someone should spare a thought for the fans of Lulu Rovers.
For years, the Pirates-Lulu rivalry was the biggest in town.
In a way, it was like the Zvishavane rivalry – one of the clubs had everything they wanted, the other were mere paupers.
Lulu Rovers, powered by the financial muscle of David Whitehead Textiles back when the company was operating full throttle, were the more organised club.
They even could afford to lure legendary forward, Richard Manda, to come into their fold and gave Benjani Mwaruwari his introduction in Division One football.
Lulu could also afford to poach Yusuf “Tsuro” Sabiti, probably the best footballer to emerge from Chegutu, from Pirates, who had given him a chance as a youth footballer.
Still, the Pirates, as poor as they were, remained the people’s team.
They had the bigger support base, something which they have retained, and today they are easily the most supported club in the lower divisions.
David Whitehead Textiles ran into financial challenges and that marked the beginning of the end for Lulu Rovers.
On Saturday, the Lulu Rovers fans will be watching from a distance as their rivals stage the biggest football party ever held in Chegutu.
Pirates need a win against Black Mambas to take over pole position, in the ZIFA Northern Region Division One league, with just a game to spare.
One of the reasons the Pirates have done well this season has to be teenage goalkeeper Tendai Chirara.
The 19-year-old has conceded just five goals all season, including 25 clean sheets.
No wonder why the Pirates fans are brimming with confidence.
“With the thrilling atmosphere that Pfupajena always brings, Black Mambas FC Know they are coming to hell,” said fan Courtney Kapusi.
“This is Pfupajena, a stadium like no other, a fortress, a lion’s den, a stadium where no one is spared, a stadium where there is absolutely zero hope of winning (for the opposition).
“A stadium where you walk in alive then, with no time, suffer an ultimately death, if I were a player it’s the last place I would want to go.