BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
The football fraternity was thrown into mourning following the death of Zimbabwe football legend and 1980 Soccer Star of the Year David “Yogi” Mandigora at his Harare home yesterday morning.
Mandigora was reportedly scheduled to have his remaining leg amputated after losing his other limb to peripheral vascular disease in October 2017.
Apart from being the first soccer star in independent Zimbabwe, Yogi won numerous league titles as a player with Harare giants Dynamos and would also win the 2007 league title for the club as coach.
The Highfield-bred football icon had his last stint with Dynamos in 2015.
Mandigora ranks among some of the best coaches to emerge from Zimbabwe, who in 2008 led Dynamos to the CAF Champions League semifinal.
Zifa took the lead in paying tribute to a legend, who was part of the first Warriors squad at independence in 1980.
“Zifa would like to send its condolences to the Mandigora family and the football fraternity at large following the sad passing on of Warriors legend David Mandigora. Mandigora is undoubtedly one of the best football servants to be produced in this country,” communication and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela said.
“Being the first soccer star in independent Zimbabwe in 1980 speaks volumes of the immense talent Mandigora possessed. Taking Dynamos to the semi-finals of the Caf champions’ league is further evidence that Mandigora was a quality coach. May his dear soul rest in eternal peace,” he added.
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) also took to Twitter to pay tribute to the former star midfielder.
“We are saddened by the untimely passing of football legend David ‘Yogi’ Mandigora. Our sincere condolences go to the Mandigora family and the entire football family during this difficult period. May his soul rest in peace,” they said.
Dynamos were yet to release a statement on the passing on of the club legend by the time of going to print, but coach Tonderai Ndiraya dedicated the team’s win against Harare City to his former mentor.
“We received sad news today just before kick-off that we lost one of our legends in David Mandigora. We want to dedicate this win to David Mandigora and of course to our supporters, who perished on their way to support the team in Gweru in 2016,” he said after the match yesterday.
Dynamos was yesterday commemorating the fifth annivesary of that accident.
Ndiraya along with his goalkeepers’ coach Gift Muzadzi were part of Yogi’s backroom staff during his last stint at the club in 2015.
Mandigora began his coaching career in 1987 when he joined Darryn Textiles soon after hanging up his boots.
However, his first notable feat as a coach was when he won the Division One league with a Lancashire Steel side in 1994 introducing exciting talents such as Kingstone Rinemhota and Petros Sibanda to name a but a few to topflight football
The cause of Mandigora’s death is not known yet. Mourners are gathered at number 9 Goshaw Road, Vainona.