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Monday, July 15, 2024

Rahman Gumbo dies, football family mourns football legend

Story by Anashe Murombedzi

THE football family in Zimbabwe has been left devastated following the death of former Warriors and Highlanders head coach Rahman Gumbo in Botswana this Friday.

The football fraternity has been plunged into mourning following the death of one of the country’s illustrious footballers and coach, Rahman Gumbo, who passed on just days before his 60th birthday next Saturday.

The Gumbo family is equally heartbroken and shattered.

“Rahman was a family man who was always there for us, we are indeed devastated after losing a family man who was there for the family and coming at a time when we were planning to hold his 60th birthday celebrations. For the funeral proceedings, we await the road map from those in Botswana,” said Gumbo’s uncle, Zeblon Mhlanga.

Born Rahman Allen Thuthani Gumbo on the 18th of November, in 1963, the legend, who was known as Dr Rush in football circles, was renowned for his coaching prowess.

Rahman’s remarkable career began in the early 90s when he started as a football player at Eagles Football Club before moving to Highlanders where he spent the better part of his footballing years.

Dr Rush also played as a midfielder and appeared for the national team alongside fellow legends such as the Ndlovu brothers – Adam and Madinda, and Benjamin Nkonjera.

In 1992, Gumbo was part of the Warriors who by then were known as the Dream Team, a side that claimed a historic 4-nil victory against South Africa. Rahman also scored in that match.

He then ventured into coaching, recording successful exploits spanning over two decades and clinching several championships with many notable clubs in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi and South Africa.

Back in 1999, Gumbo returned to Highlanders as a coach, winning the Premier League titles back-to-back till 2000.

He also had stints with CAPS United, FC Platinum, Telone and South African National First Division side, Witbank Spurs.

In 2005. the gaffer was appointed to the managerial position of the Warriors but was subsequently relieved of his duties following a 3-0 loss to Nigeria, before bouncing back in 2012 and 2019 separately as interim coach following Sunday Chidzambwa’s resignation.

Rahman Gumbo then relocated to Botswana where he was appointed manager of Botswana Premier League club Gaborone United before returning home to coach Chicken Inn two years later.

Hardly three days after parting ways with Botswana outfit Morupule Wanderers, Gumbo tragically collapsed and suffered a heart attack at his home in Botswana in Palapye on Thursday.

Medical efforts to resuscitate the 59-year-old proved fruitless, and Gumbo later died this Friday.

He is survived by his wife and four children.

Mourners are gathered at number 13 Lendy Road Nothend in Bulawayo.

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