Former footballer dies

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Former footballer dies.

Mourners are gathered at No. 156 Daniel Street, Mbare, and he will be laid to rest today at 12noon at Zororo Memorial Park. He is survived by his wife Beatrice and three children — Walter, Christine and Matthias.

Soccer StarFormer Darryn Textiles footballer Leonard “Wagga Wagga” Sande passed away on Tuesday morning after a short illness. The lanky midfield workhorse — born and bred in Mbare — succumbed to meningitis at a local hospital. He was 56.

Sande starred for the textile side in the ‘80s before the side’s franchise was acquired by Polish coach Wieslaw Grabowski who renamed it Darryn T in 1991.

The original, trailblazing Darryn Textiles side, then coached first by former national team forward Chita “Black Mamba” Antonio and later by veteran administrator Francis Zimunya, had an array of skilful players. These included Gift “Ghetto” M’pariwa, Tau “Fit” Pachirera, Godfrey “Skipper” Matizanhau, Henry “Hwezha” Kahwa, Dickson “Dhikela” Mapila, Dominic “Dommie” Pedro, George “Murehwa” Tarenyika, Clifton “Kay” Siyanka, Ian “Papa” Mharapara, Silas “Majuta” Chihota and goalkeepers Gift “Skabonya” Roseman and Peter “Maoko” Mwoyounotsva.

A tough-as-a-nail winner in the middle of the park, one of Sande’s most memorable encounters was when he starred in a shock 5-0 demolition of the expensively-assembled side State House Tornados in a ZIFA Cup first round tie at Gwanzura in 1988.

He completely shut out the opponents’ key and Warriors player, David “Chikwama” Mwanza.

Besides Mwanza, the other Warriors players in the Tornados line-up on that day included the quartet of ‘keeper Fanuel Ariberto and defenders James “Jimalo” Takavada, Godfrey “Stopper” Paradza and John “JP” Phiri.

The publicity shy Sande, whose son Walter (registered by Dynamos for this season and who finally got his clearance letter last week from Botswana where he was playing last season), hung up his boots following Grabowski’s acquisition of Darryn Textiles.

Sande got his nickname from the legendary former Kaizer Chiefs player Leonard “Wagga Wagga” Likoebe, a quick striker who scored lots of goals because of his blistering speed and illuminated the South African footballing scene in the early 1980s.

His elder brother, Robson “Black Rob” Sande, said the family had lost a pillar of strength, a devoted brother and leader.

“I am still shocked by his death because he had appeared to be on the road to recovery after a few days in hospital.

‘’Football was his life and he never stopped talking about the good old days and was also a staunch follower of the Warriors who was getting ready to rally behind them at AFCON 2019 in Egypt,” he said.