Football fraternity mourns Kambani

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THE local football family was plunged into mourning again following the untimely death of former CAPS United star player and coach Anthony Kambani yesterday. Kambani, 57, passed away at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital following complications with diabetes in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The family was still finalising burial arrangements by last night but Kambani’ remains are expected to be interred tomorrow in Harare. Mourners are gathered at house number 2523 Budiriro 1 in the capital. Family spokesperson Alwin Santana, who is the deceased’s brother, said they have been devastated by the former footballer’s death.

“We have accepted what has happened but to tell you the truth, we are really devastated as a family. “I’m failing to find the right words to describe my late brother because he was a good man, who had no problems with anyone. “We are still in shock over what has just happened,” Santana told the Daily News last night.

After an illustrious playing career with the Green Machine, Kambani went into coaching starting with the CAPS juniors where he helped nurture the likes of Artwell Mabhiza, Kelvin Mushangazhike, Roy Muchuchu, Tostao Kwashi and Artwell Makawa.

After earning his stripes with the development side, Kambani was promoted to the first team as Steve Kwashi’s assistant for the 1996 season. That year, Makepekepe swept everything before them as they won the league title  and the BP Cup.

Despite a promising coaching career ahead of him, Kambani left the game to concentrate on his second career in the insurance sector following a car accident involving Kwashi senior in 2001. Former Kaizer Chiefs forward Kelvin Mushangazhike, who honed his skills at Makepekepe juniors under Kambani, was devastated by the news.

“I have lost a mentor who contributed immensely for me to achieve everything I managed in both my playing and fledgling coaching career. “He was my Under-17 coach at CAPS where he assembled a great team that had many players who went on to become professionals.

“We were very happy for him when he was promoted to got to the first team by Bla Steve. We have lost a really good man,” Mushangazhike told the Daily News. Former Warriors and Dynamos midfielder David Mandigora said Kambani was a huge loss to the local football fraternity.

“He was a very humble and understanding person. “He helped us a lot, especially after football, as he was working in the insurance sector where he gave many other former players advice and assistance.

“Even when we played against each other, we would be in competition for the 90 minutes on the pitch but after that, we would share jokes and laugh together,” Mandigora told the Daily News.

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