By Austin Karonga
Death is never a good visitor. It brings tears to every household it pays a call.
Likewise, the whole nation plunged into mourning last week following the death of former Warriors and CAPS United legend Friday “Breakdown Amayenge” Phiri who passed away on Friday morning at his Glen Norah home in Harare.
The former left-winger succumbed to cancer, leaving behind wife Rose and three children — two boys and a girl. He was 60 years old.
His death came at a time his friends at CAPS and Warriors were running around to raise funds to cater for his welfare and hospital bills.
Those in the United Kingdom had arranged a match pitting ex-CAPS United and former Dynamos legends scheduled for today in Birmingham.
The main objective was to raise funds for Phiri and legendary DeMbare midfielder David “Yogi” Mandigora, who is battling sugar diabetes.
Mandigora had his leg amputated as a way of trying to contain the disease.
On Thursday, ex-footballers — based locally and abroad — raised $645 which was handed over to the late Phiri’s wife by CAPS legends elder Charles Sibanda at their home in Glen Norah.
Joe “Kode” Mugabe, the ex-CAPS United midfielder based in the UK said Phiri’s death was not only a loss to his family but the football community at large.
“It’s a big loss to his family and to the football community, it’s a bigger loss especially to some of us who had the privilege to be with him day in, day out for so many years,” Mugabe told the Daily News from his UK base yesterday.
“It’s a big loss in our lives not just football. He was a big brother and a father to us. He made our integration to the first team from the juniors very easy as he would take his time from his first team duties and come down to the juniors and help out the coaches.”
Mugabe said Phiri, an ex-CAPS juniors’ coach, Monomotapa, Eagles and Tripple B coach was a true gentleman on and off the pitch.
“We will never forget him with the popular words he used to say ‘let’s go malads’ and I cannot say much about his playing career as most people knew how good he was but off the field where he was good as well,” Mugabe added.
“He would try and help everyone settle in at CAPS, if you were a new player coming from the juniors, he would always go out of his way to make sure that you settle in. I can go on and on but in short, he was a true gentleman.” Daily News