By Langton Nyakwenda
For CAPS United’s former boss, Twine Phiri, the late Anthony Kambani was an embodiment of dedication and commitment to the Makepekepe cause.
Kambani — a former CAPS United player and coach — passed away at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital on Wednesday after a short illness.
He was 57.
The former Arcadia United and Pro-Nutro central midfielder, who earned the moniker “Bryan Robson” because of the way he bossed the role during his heyday, was laid to rest at Warren Hills Cemetry in Harare yesterday.
At that time, ex-Manchester United skipper Bryan Robson was also starring for the English Premiership giants in a similar midfield role.
Kambani is survived by his wife and two daughters, Candice and Denise, who are based in the United Kingdom.
He was Steve Kwashi’s assistant when CAPS United won their first league title after independence in 1996.
Phiri yesterday saluted Kambani’s contribution to Makepekepe.
“When I got to CAPS United as president in 2000, Kambani was one of the guys who were on the ground in terms of coaching and development of players.
“I worked with Kambani when he was Kwashi’s assistant, and when Steve was injured in an accident in 2001, he actually took over the first team on an interim basis,” Phiri said.
He was replaced by Rahman Gumbo, who in turn was succeeded by Charles Mhlauri, who went to win two consecutive league titles in 2004 and 2005.
“Anthony Kambani was a very good guy, very professional and hardworking. It is unfortunate he couldn’t continue with the club because he was employed elsewhere and we were turning CAPS United into a professional club.
“He was one guy who would answer your call even at midnight. I would call him anytime, when he was still at CAPS United, to discuss football.
“Kambani loved CAPS United, and it is unfortunate the green family has lost a gallant son,” Phiri said.
He was raised in Mbare and made a name at Arcadia United in the early 1980s, before moving to giants CAPS United.
At Arcadia United, he played alongside the likes of Mike Abrahams, Joey Antipas, Gift Makoni, Charlie Jones, Carlos Max, Mike Mhlanga, and David Zulu.
He won the Chibuku Trophy with Arcadia United in 1983.
Kambani later moved to CAPS United, where he joined a star-studded squad that included Brenna Msiska, the late quintet of Joel Shambo, Shacky Tauro, Clever Muzuva, Tobias Sibanda, and Friday Phiri.
He was also a respected member of the Zimbabwe five-a-side national team, which played at the 1989 FIFA Futsal World Championships in the Netherlands that included Garikai Zuze, Benjamin Zulu (late), and Clayton Munemo.
Meanwhile, former CAPS United chairperson Shepherd Bwanya suffered a stroke yesterday and is admitted to a Harare medical facility. The Sunday Mail