Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
THE Sports Commission led the way in paying tribute to former Motor Action director Eric Rosen who died in Harare yesterday.
He was 69.
Rosen died yesterday morning at Trauma Centre Borrowdale after a heart attack.
Rosen was the owner of Motor Action, a football club he ran together with his wife Elizabeth and had its fair share of success before it collapsed in 2014.
Motor Action were the 2010 Premier Soccer League champions when they beat Lengthens at Motor Action Sports Club and made their maiden appearance in the CAF Champions League in 2011.
They then participated in the CAF Confederation Cup the following year.
Earlier on in 2005, they won the Independence Trophy.
The club was disbanded in 2014 due to financial challenges. They had been relegated to Division One at the end of the 2013 season.
Speaking at her home in Glen Lorne, Harare, yesterday, Rosen’s wife said all was well with her husband until yesterday morning when he suffered a heart attack and died later on at Trauma Centre Borrowdale.
Rosen’s son, Sydney, said his father was passionate about football and invested a lot of money in the game.
“My father was a very loyal man and he believed in straight things in life. He had passion for soccer, he put a lot of money into football. He spent over $4,5 million in soccer. So when our club went down we have been fighting hard to keep our sports club together and certain things we had planned we still have them in plan but it’s not easy without the man. I wish him all the best and may he rest in peace,” said Sydney.
The Sports Commission director general Charles Nhemachena, in a statement released yesterday, paid tribute to Rosen for his contribution in the development of sport.
“Today a dark cloud hangs over Zimbabwean sports following the untimely death of one of our illustrious football sons ever to emerge, Eric Rosen. As the SRC we were saddened and shocked to receive the news of the untimely death of Eric.
“Eric was one of the serious investors that football had since Independence. He rose to fame when he took over the then Blackpool Football Club and rebranded it Motor Action.
“Motor Action was not just a football club where players were taught the art of football, rather the club also employed these footballers thus contributing to the reduction of unemployment of the youth and economic development through sport.
“Eric shall be remembered as a great football investor and an advocate for sport development. His contributions to sport will forever be cherished. Football is poorer without Eric who was not only an owner of a football club but also an astute sport administrator who also served in the PSL board of governors. Eric served football well, his wise counsel shall be missed.
“On behalf of the SRC board, management and staff I would like to convey our condolences to his dear family especially his wife and children.
“May his dear departed soul rest in eternal peace,” said Nhemachena.
ZIFA joined the football fraternity and the nation in mourning the former Motor Action boss.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) is saddened by the passing on of Eric Rosen, former Arcadia United chairman and owner of former Premier Soccer League giants Motor Action FC,” ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa told the association’s official website.
“Zimbabwean football has lost one of its astute servants. He was a splendid administrator and has left lasting memories in the minds of all members of the football fraternity. Rosen was an outstanding administrator and will be remembered for his various accomplishments and the contributions especially in the Premier Soccer League.
“On behalf of the ZIFA Executive Committee, the entire football family and on my own behalf, I extend my deepest condolences to the bereaved Rosen family during this difficult time. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult moment. May the family find comfort in the Lord Almighty. May His Soul Rest in Peace,” said Chiyangwa.
Chicken Inn coach, Joey Antipas, who is a former Motor Action coach, described Rosen as a champion and said he will be missed in the local football fraternity.
“I would say he was a champion. He was a well-respected man and whatever he did, he did it 100 percent. He was a colourful and flamboyant leader. The football fraternity will miss him,” said Antipas.
Soccer Coaches Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Newsome Mtema said local football has become poorer without Rosen.
“We have lost one of the few people committed to the development of the game. A good administrator and sponsor.
“Mr Rosen was committed to the development of football in this country given the investments he committed to his club, winning the league is not easy, it involves a lot of financial muscle. However, the man was so generous.
“He created employment to a lot of us, we have become more poorer without him. As SCUZ we join the nation and Mrs Rosen and family in mourning. May His soul Rest in Peace,”
Former ZIFA chairman, Trevor Carelse-Juul, also posted a condolence message on his Facebook account yesterday and said Rosen’s death is a loss to the local football community.
“We pray for his family and may he rest in peace now that his spirit has returned to be with the Lord.
“This is a big loss to the Zimbabwean football community.
“Eric scarified a lot of his personal wealth and time to the community and football in general, he achieved great things with Motor Action. Eric and his wife have done a lot for many in the football game, he will be missed. May His Soul Rest in Peace,” read part of Juul’s post.
Other messages posted on social media include some from former CAPS United defender, Frank Nyamukuta.
“I have just learnt with great sadness the passing on of Motor Action owner Mr Eric Rosen. My condolences to the family, friends and the Zimbabwean football fraternity,” Nyamukuta said.
Rosen is survived by his wife Elizabeth, three children and four grandsons.
Mourners are gathered at No. 64, Glen Lorne Drive in Glen Lorne.