A NUMBER of former Mighty Bulls players have paid tribute to former Motor Action director Eric Rosen who died in Harare on Sunday morning as a man who was passionate about football.
Former midfielder Douglas Zimbango said football has been left poorer without Rosen.
“I met Mr Rosen in 2009 when he convinced me to join his club from Highlanders. He and his wife were very passionate about soccer and they loved their club.
“They gave it their all and you could see his eyes glowing each time he spoke about Motor Action and football in general.
“He managed to survive in football for all those years because he was an astute businessman who would not just easily part with money.
“He used to say to me jokingly ‘Douglas, I gave you too much money, now you should give some back.’ He was a leader and good man and Mrs Rosen was the rock on which the club was built.
“We have lost a great man, a leader and a soccer fanatic. To Mrs Rosen, I pass my deepest condolences. Rest in peace Mudhara,” said Zimbango.
Dynamos midfielder Masimba Mambare, who cut his professional football teeth at Motor Action, said he has lost a father.
“It was a shock not only to me but everyone who knew him very well. As for me, most of the people who know my background, they know where I started playing.
“I started playing Premier League football at Motor Action. He gave me the chance to showcase my talent.
“I remember that time it was very difficult to break through into the Premiership teams but at Motor Action they were like a family and he gave me a chance and had faith in me.
“He was like a father to me and it is a great loss to me.
“I think he was one of the most professional football leaders in the country. Everyone can agree with me that I don’t think he owed anyone money,” said Mambare. ZPC Kariba striker Protasho Kabwe said his breakthrough came in the Eric Rosen tournament in Mutare.
“It is sad. At first I couldn’t believe it and thought it was one of those social media rumours until I read the newspaper.
“He helped me a lot. He used to sponsor the Eric Rosen Football Tournament in Mutare for secondary schools and that is when I began my football career back home in Mutare before I joined Motor Action in 2011 after the team had won the league and played in the Champions League.
“He has left a gap in our football,” said Protasho.
Former Mighty Bulls skipper Passmore Benard, who played for the club from 2010 up to 2013, said Rosen was never negotiated in bad faith.
Simeon Jamanda, for long his right-hand man, said he had lost a mentor.
“I am devastated. I have lost my mentor.
I worked with Eric from 1999 when he left Arcadia United to form Motor Action.
“I remember our joy was when we beat Highlanders at Barbourfields in the Silver Jubilee Cup in 2005. Though we won the league in 2010, we were not really thrilled because that year the league had no sponsor,” said Jamanda.
Dynamos secretary-general Webster Chikengezha said Rosen’s star even shone brighter on the PSL Board of Governors.
“Football has lost a great man. Eric was so principled.”
Last night, Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane and ZIFA boss Philip Chiyangwa visited the Rosen home at 64 Glen Lorne Drive, Glen Lorne, to pass their condolences to the family.