Zim rugby fraternity mourns Caroline Hobson

HARARE - The Zimbabwean rugby fraternity has expressed sadness over the death on Tuesday of Caroline Hobson, wife of Sevens stalwart and former Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) president Bruce.

Condolence messages continued to pour in yesterday for Caroline, who collapsed at the Hobsons’ home in Borrowdale on Tuesday and died on her way to Avenues Hospital.

The 46-year-old mother of three passed on hours after the she had come from Harare International Airport to pick up the Zimbabwe Sevens team, which had arrived back home from an unsuccessful IRB World Sevens Series core-team qualification campaign in London at the weekend.

In his capacity as Zimbabwe Sevens manager, her husband Bruce has been at the heart of Sevens rugby’s revival in the country for more than a decade, transforming the national team, the Cheetahs, into a world-class outfit.  

Caroline was by his side throughout the years, providing morale support and helping her husband run the team.

“Gone too soon, mother of the Cheetahs,” posted Zimbabwe Sevens manager Donald Mangenje on Caroline’s Facebook timeline. Mangenje, a former Zimbabwe international, later told the Daily News:

“He (Bruce) is totally distraught. Caroline was his best friend. She was the champion behind the scene; the visas, the transport, the meals. Everyone saw Brue in front, but she did everything for us behind the scene.”

Cheetahs speedster Kilvan Magunje wrote on Facebook:

“Yesterday you drove us from the airport, I’m deeply saddened by your untimely death, may your soul rest in eternal peace.”

Wes Mbanje, a long-serving member of the team, also mourned the loss.

He wrote: “Just last night we were together, only to wake up and hear you are gone this is remarkable sad news, I’m speechless. My prayers are with your family.”

Michael Fox-Morris added on the condolences:

“Words cannot describe how shocked and saddened we are by your passing, you were always so selfless and generous to us all in the Zim 7s family and for that we are forever grateful. My deepest condolences go out to Bruce and the rest of the Hobson family. May you Rest in Peace.”

On her last Facebook post on Sunday, Caroline was in high spirits, urging on Zimbabwe to beat Russia in a London Sevens qualification event quarter-final match, which would have kept them in the hunt for a World Series berth.

“Go Zim!! You've got to be as hard as the Russians are!! We're all watching!,” she wrote on the team’s Facebook page.

The tournament ended in heartbreak for the Cheetahs, who disappointingly lost 24-7 to miss out on qualification.  Two days later, they lost a motherly figure, one of their pillars of strength.


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