PREMIER Soccer League chairman, Farai Jere, says local football has lost some of its finest jewels in the past week.
Warriors legend Rahman Gumbo and former national team goalkeeper, George Chigova, died in the past few days. Jere will attend Gumbo’s funeral in Bulawayo this week.
He also extended his condolences to PSL governor, Lifa Ncube, who lost his father this week.
“Ashumble as he was talented, Gumbo left it all on the pitch, in defence of the national flag, during his days in the engine room of the famous Dream Team and later from the Warriors technical bench,” said Jere.
“He also imparted football nuggets at club level as coach at his boyhood club Highlanders as well as at clubs such as FC Platinum, Chicken Inn and CAPS United among others.
“Rush, as Gumbo was fondly known, also had successful stints beyond Zimbabwean borders. Rahman always put football first, spread the gospel of the game wherever he went and served the game well until his untimely death.
“It won’t be misplaced to describe him as a football envoy, an ambassador of the beautiful game and above all a very good man.”
Jere said the sudden death of Chigova has left Zimbabwean football poorer.
He was 32.
Chigova, a championship winner with Dynamos before he moved to South Africa, died in his sleep at his home in Gauteng on Wednesday morning. “It was with a great sense of shock that I learnt of the death of Zimbabwe international goalkeeper George Chigova,” said Jere in a statement. Indeed, death has no shame.
“How can it show its grim face on our nation again while we are mourning the iconic Rahman ‘Rush’ Gumbo who passed away in Botswana over the weekend?
“We have lost two football legends inside a week.
“A few months ago, Chigova was reported to be unwell but news that the 32-year-old was on the mend gave us hope of seeing him back between the sticks, making those jaw-dropping saves that defied his huge frame and gravity too.
“Sadly, this was not to be as the former Gunners and Dynamos goalkeeper passed away on a day the Warriors were set to make their long-awaited return to international football away in Rwanda.
“A Premier Soccer League title winner, Chigova will be remembered as a gentle giant and a fine goalkeeper who remained humble as he rose from the nursery of Aces Youth Academy to the dizzy heights of being the Warriors number one goalkeeper.
“May the Chigova family be comforted by the knowledge that their grief is shared by the nation.”