Chigova for final Rufaro appearance Former Dynamos FC players carry the late George Chigova’s casket upon arrival at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport yesterday

Eddie ChikamhiHarare Bureau

FORMER Dynamos FC goalkeeper George Chigova is set to make his final appearance at Rufaro Stadium this morning after the family confirmed plans for a funeral procession for the ex-goalkeeper in the capital.

Chigova’s body which arrived in the country yesterday from South Africa where he died last week, was greeted by a sombre atmosphere as scores of football enthusiasts dressed mainly in Dynamos regalia sang and danced in honour of their football icon at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

The brother to the late goalkeeper, Lazarus Chigova, yesterday confirmed the funeral programme culminating in the burial ceremony in Chivhu tomorrow. 

“The body is here now and we are proceeding with the funeral plans as planned. From here we are going to the funeral parlour where he will spend the night. Then, tomorrow (today) there is going to be a funeral procession at Rufaro from 8am to 11am.

“We expect to have speeches done and then there are also plans to pass through the Aces Youth Soccer Academy in Waterfalls, on the way to Chivhu.

“Burial is on Friday afternoon. I think we may have limited transport to carry everyone to Chivhu and we appeal to those that would want to travel with us to make their own transport arrangements. 

“We thank the people of Zimbabwe, the Dynamos players, officials and supporters for showing their love to George and to the family,” said Lazarus. 

Chigova’s body was received by the family and there were also football people in attendance who included the Dynamos top hierarchy led by club chairman Bernard Marriot and executive chairman Moses Maunganidze and chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze. 

Former teammates Artwell Mukandi, Denver Mukamba and Hardlife Zvirekwi, who he played with at Gunners, spoke glowingly about Chigova. 

“I think George and I come a long way. At one point we were teammates at Gunners from 2010 to 2012 when I went to Caps United and he joined Dynamos. 

“We became rivals as well in the Harare Derby but we never stopped being friends and brothers. We also played together in the national team colours from 2014 up until 2017. His untimely death came as a shock to all of us, his friends and former teammates,” said Zvirekwi. 

Maunganidze said DeMbare were making plans to send supporters to Chivhu, through the various supporters’ chapters.

“There have been arrangements put in place in terms of logistics. We are going to assemble at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow between 8am and 11am for a memorial service. Thereafter we depart for Chivhu. 

“In terms of our structures and organisation, everything has been put in place regarding how our supporters are going to be co-ordinated in terms of their movements from Harare to Chivhu, and back to Harare,” said Maunganidze.

Dynamos National Supporters Association chairperson Benjamin Munzira urged the various chapters to co-ordinate their transport arrangements to Chivhu.

 “Firstly, as DeMbare supporters we feel saddened by the death of George. He excelled for Dynamos and if my memory serves me well, I remember he never conceded a goal against Caps United, who are our biggest rivals in Harare. If we look at that record alone, it made us proud as supporters.

“For that and many other things he did for the club and the country, we have to give him a befitting send off. We are hoping to have a procession tomorrow and we are calling on all supporters to come as we bid our former player his final farewell.

“Those who may want to travel to Chivhu for the burial should contact their chapter chairpersons so that we have a clear plan for the transport logistics,” said Munzira.

DeMbare supporters also shared their sadness. 

Hima Rugube said Chigova left them many memories.

“George left us many memories at Dynamos because he played at a time when the club was enjoying success under Callisto Pasuwa. He was a fine goalkeeper and because of that he couldn’t stay long as he was poached by South African clubs.

“I remember very well when he saved a shot during a match against Caps United and I didn’t know how to react to that brilliant save. So, I took off my pants and was left almost naked because of the emotions. He was a very good goalkeeper and as Zimbabwe we have lost,” said Rugube.

Tawanda Mudzengi, also known as Boban, was emotional. 

“It’s unfortunate we had to be reunited with George in this sad manner where we cannot talk to him. We spent time with him at Dynamos and we had good memories. 

“He had respect for his former teammates and for us fans as well. That is why you see all these supporters coming out in huge numbers to mourn with the Chigova family,” said Mudzengi. 

Chigova won two league titles with Dynamos and a pair of Mbada Diamond Cup titles before he crossed to South Africa in 2014, to join SuperSport United.

He is survived by his wife Noku, and three daughters Nicole, Tino and Tanatswa.

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