Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
ENGLISH football club Plymouth Argyle have paid a glowing tribute to Onismor Bhasera, who is regarded by the club as one of the most illustrious foreign players to don their colours.
The club, which now plays in the English League One, featured the Zimbabwe international and SuperSport United defender in their magazine over the weekend.
Bhasera turned out for the club when it was still in the English Championship and was eventually relegated to the third tier of English football.
The Pilgrims, as the club is fondly known, said it was disappointing that Bhasera decided against returning to England for the 2013-14 season when he opted to return to the South African Premiership.
“Our journey through the international records of Pilgrims who have reached a global stage takes us to Zimbabwe and the cult figure of Onismor Bhasera,” wrote the magazine.
Plymouth signed Bhasera after his contractual dispute with Kaizer Chiefs ended. He had initially moved to England in the summer of 2009 to train with Portsmouth under the belief that he was a free agent.
After the dust had settled, then Argyle manager Paul Mariner managed to win the player, who had also attracted interest from Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday.
“Despite our relegation from the Championships, Baz (Bhasera) had impressed everyone with his energy, quality, and commitment down the left flank, and new manager Peter Reid was certainly a big fan.
“Despite suffering a serious knee injury in 2011, Baz returned with the same level of performance and he was rightly loved by the Green Army winning the club Player of the Year award in 2015.
“Sadly Baz never returned for pre-season training ahead of the 2013-2014 campaign and he decided to make a return to South Africa. While it was a disappointing end to his time at the Home Park, Onismor Bhasera is an international Pilgrim remembered with great fondness,” concludes the club’s magazine.
Bhasera is still going strong at 35 and is in the books of the South African side, SuperSport United. He is also part of the Zimbabwe national team participating in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.