About 25 Zimbabwean football legends in the Diaspora under the banner Team Zimbabwe UK recently mobilised funds to assist the family of CAPS United and Zimbabwe international footballer Friday “Amayenge” Phiri who succumbed to liver cancer. He was buried on Sunday. Spearheaded by Joe “Kode” Mugabe and Memory Mucherahohwa, the former players raised $645 which was handed to the widow of Phiri in Harare by CAPS United legend Charles Sibanda.
A fundraiser has been pencilled for Birmingham on October 28 to help David Mandigora who has been battling ill health.
Breaking club barriers, the players who pooled their financial resources included Charles Kaseke, Maxwell Dube, Muzondiwa Mugadza, Kennedy Chihuri, Chamu Musanhu, David Ndunduma, Mike Maringa, Nigel Chifokoyo, George Guyo, Thomas Thomik, CanisioTongesai, Anthony Sibanda, Obey Murefu, Bheki Mlotshwa, Marshall Gore, Kuda Zinhu, Nyasha Kanogoiwa, Timothy Chirozvani, Japhet Mparutsa, Francis Nechironga, Allan Chimwai, Shingirai Shingirai, Mugabe, Mucherahohwa and scribe Albert Marufu.
Acknowledging Phiri was “a gentleman on and off the pitch”, the assistance was accompanied by heartfelt condolences to both the late footballer’s family and the entire soccer community in general.
“We (former players in the diaspora) are with the family of the legend in mourning and with the current economic situation and lack of a welfare fund that cater for ex-footballers, we were compelled out here to give a helping hand to one of our own.
“We will continue to work towards supporting our former greats and we have on the cards a fundraising match on October 28 in Birmingham whose proceeds will go towards the welfare of David ‘Yogi’ Mandigora,” said Charles “Star Black” Kaseke in a message.
Former Caps Utd striker Francis Nechironga weighed in and said they will never forget their roots.
“We will do the little we can with the faith that relevant organisations back home realise the need to establish a benevolent fund towards such instances.
“Generally, we are touched by the plight of ex-players most of whom live in abject poverty, hence our small gesture,” he said.