Dynamos founder dies

HARARE - Richard Chiminya, one of the founding members of Zimbabwe football champions Dynamos, has died.

Chiminya, who had been fighting a boil in his throat — died yesterday at the age of 76.

He is survived by wife Juanita and three children — two daughters and a son.

Nephew and family spokesperson, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, said Chiminya’s daughter and son who are in England were expected to arrive today before burial arrangements are finalised.

“It’s a great loss to the family and football,” Chombo told the Daily News yesterday.

“He was so passionate about football and Dynamos. He brought me to football. I will always be Dynamos because of my uncle.

“I am quite saddened. He was the only family member who played football at a higher level.  He was the star of the clan.”

 Chiminya, who founded the country’s most successful football club with a group of friends back in 1963, was admitted at Parirenyatwa on Saturday after developing the growth in his throat.

He lost his battle for life yesterday afternoon.

Chiminya was largely seen as the glue that kept the turbulent Harare giants together.

Fellow Dynamos founder Bernard Marriot credited Chiminya, who was the chairperson of the club’s board of trustees at the time of his death, with bringing sanity to the historically-volatile club.

Marriot said: “He’s amongst those who laid the foundation bricks on day one in 1963. He was one of the original directors. He made an immense contribution to the formation of the club. He brought sanity to the club.”

Born in Kwekwe, Chiminya featured for Dynamos as a wing back when the club was formed in 1963 before leaving five months later to join City Wanderers.

He only returned to the Glamour Boys 30 years later.

Chiminya was raised in his hometown of Kwekwe, where his love for football was influenced by the mining community background.  

As a young man, he worked for BAT Tobacco, a company which had a long history of sponsoring football clubs.

His experience with BAT saw him co-found Dynamos with other club legends like George Shaya, Marriot, Ernest Kamba, amongst others.

Dynamos executive chairperson Kenny Mubaiwa said the club received the news of Chiminya's death with a heavy heart.  

“It came to us as a shock at a time when we had just booked our place in the Mbada Diamonds Cup final for the second time since its inception last year.

“We were also looking forward to having him around for our golden jubilee set for next year and if we had our way, we would have asked for an extension to his life for him to see that day.”

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