Oscar Rusenga in CHIREDZI and Tadious Manyepo in HARARE
ZIFA yesterday led the domestic football family in mourning former Young Warriors goalkeeper, Ronald Mudimu, who died on Sunday night.
He was 33.
Mudimu was the first-choice goalkeeper and vice-captain of Premiership club, Triangle United.
He will be laid to rest at Zororo Memorial Park along Seke Road tomorrow.
His death was confirmed just hours after his club beat Dynamos 1-0 in a Castle Lager Premiership match at Gibbo.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association has learnt with great sadness about the passing on of former Young Warriors and Triangle United Football Club goalkeeper Ronald Mudimu,’’ association spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, said in a statement.
“ZIFA conveys its heartfelt condolences to the Mudimu family, friends, Triangle United FC, and the local football family.
“We cannot begin to imagine the grief that everyone is going through in this difficult moment of bereavement.
“We derive some solace from the fact that Mudimu played the game of football with a huge heart.
“There is no doubt that several generations of footballers will be inspired by his football story both at club and national team level. May his soul rest in eternal peace.’’
His coach, Taurai Mangwiro, was a shattered man yesterday as he spoke about the loss of one of his best players.
“As Triangle United Football Club, we are at a sad loss, we run shot of words to describe how painful it is to lose one of our most loyal sons and vice-captain,’’ he said.
“He has been unwell for quite some time and when we resumed preparations for the second round of fixtures in the Chibuku Super Cup he was unable to join the team for training.
“His condition deteriorated until he lost his battle last night (on Sunday) and, as a team, we are finding it difficult to cope with this loss.
“On behalf of the players, the technical team, management, the football fraternity at large and on my own behalf, may his dear soul rest in peace.”
Mudimu suffered a mild stroke, after which he became blind two weeks ago.
Family spokesperson, Eshuwet Maikoti, said the 2010 championship-winning ‘keeper with Motor Action, will be buried tomorrow.
“A church service will be held at Nyaradzo Funeral Parlour at 2pm tomorrow (today) before the body is taken to his parents’ home in Chitungwiza’s Unit D.
“The body will lie in state at his own home in Ziko, Seke, before burial at Zororo Memorial Park on Wednesday.
“As a family we are devastated beyond words. He was a focused young man and we were looking up to him as a family for guidance despite his age.
“What is even more heartbreaking is the fact that we lost his father in August and, while we were still mourning, Ronald has been taken away from us, leaving behind a very young family.”
Born on February 1, 1988, Mudimu was the first in a family of two boys.
His young brother, Ronnie, was born a year later in February 1989.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Mudimu and Triangle United FC family following the untimely passing of seasoned player Ronald Mudimu,’’ said the PSL.
“We pray for comfort and strength during this difficult time.’’
Mudimu played for Kiglon, Buymore, Black Mambas and Motor Action before joining Triangle in 2013.
The veteran goalkeeper went on to become Triangle’s most loyal servant, in the domestic Premiership, and he was the team’s first-choice, for the better part of his eight-year stay, in the Lowveld.
He will mostly be remembered by Triangle faithful for his penalty-saving heroics, which helped his side win the inaugural NetOne OneWallet Cup and the Chibuku Super Cup.
In the 2014 Netone OneWallet Cup competition, Triangle won all their games, from the first round to the final, via the penalty shoot-out lottery.
Mudimu made the difference, in all these matches, with his heroics in the shoot-out.
The goalkeeper also played a big role as his club won the Chibuku Super Cup final in 2018.
It earned the club a ticket to represent Zimbabwe in the CAF Confederation Cup and Mudimu played all four fixtures in the continental inter-club competition.
He also represented Zimbabwe in the junior national teams at Under-17 and Under-20 levels.
“A dark cloud has covered the football family. It is with great sadness that we learn of the sad passing of Triangle FC goalkeeper, Ronald Mudimu,’’ the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe said.
“We convey our sincere sympathy to the family, FUZ members, friends, and the nation at large.
“We hope our words of solidarity will bring strength and peace to the Mudimus in this time of bereavement.’’
Triangle captain, Collins Dhuwa, said words could not describe the team’s massive loss.