HARARE - Late Motor Action founder Eric Rosen who succumbed to heart failure on Sunday is set to be buried at Harare’s Greendale Cemetery on Thursday, his son Sydney has said.
Rosen died at a Borrowdale Hospital in Harare. He was 69.
He leaves behind his wife and three children, two sons and a daughter.
Mourners are gathered at his Glen Lorne home in Harare.
Still in a state of shock following his father’s untimely death on that fateful Sunday afternoon, his second-born Sydney Rosen ,45, said the family was still mooting plans for the burial with Thursday being the likely date of bidding him farewell.
“I’m still shocked to be honest with you. He was fit as usual. Then all of sudden, the heart attack while he rested at home. We called an ambulance and they were very efficient,” Sydney told the Daily News yesterday.
“Within five minutes, the medical guys were at home, he was taken to hospital, was unconscious and sadly he could not regain consciousness.
“We are still waiting for close relatives and family members who are abroad but we will definitely do a parade at Carlisle Sports Club (formerly Motor Action) and then leave for burial at Greendale Cemetery on Thursday afternoon. In the mean time people are coming here (Glen Lorne) to pay their respects.”
Meanwhile, former Motor Action and Premier League-winning coach, Joey Antipas who is now with last year’s winners Chicken Inn described Rosen as a father figure who treated players just like his own sons.
Antipas added that the late Rosen was a true hero and had there been a shrine in honour of such illustrious contributors towards the development of sport then he deserved to be laid there.
“Eric and I go back a long way. In the late 90s we teamed up at Arcadia United, he had some disagreements with the community and then decided to go it alone and formed his own team after purchasing the Blackpool franchise which was up for sale.
“We then fought from the trenches together. He was a hardworking and passionate football administrator who loved his team and football,” Antipas told the Daily News.
“If there was a heroes acre for football administrators, he would be buried there. His flamboyance and colourful character will certainly be missed by all.
“There was no off-season for him, he would always be planning to make the Motor Action brand bigger and better season after season.
“He and Liz (wife to the late Rosen) treated the players like their own sons, that’s how he loved the team. We had that unity and togetherness.”
“His dream was to make his team champions and represent the country in the Caf Champions League when we realised that dream, he was the happiest man on earth, it made him feel so proud of that achievement.”
Antipas added that a host of players came through the Motor Action furnace do dazzle the Premiership with aplomb.
“He nurtured some great players in the mould of Marlon Jani, Clemence Matawu, Prince Matore, Eddy Mufema, Musa Mguni, Salim Milanzi, Craig Payne, Alan Johnson, the list is endless.
“Eric was a father to the boys, always willing and ready to assist his players when problems arose. He was a man who always wanted things to be above aboard.
“He fought for PSL board of governors and up to today the PSL is a league of tranquillity,” said Antipas.
“Personally, I’m at a loss for words on the passing on of this great man, my tutor and inspirational man. My deepest sympathy to Liz and family.
“He is with his creator who called him on Sunday, January 24, 2016. I cherish the great times we shared together.”
Antipas travelled to Zambia yesterday with Chicken Inn for a pre-season invitational tournament ahead of next month’s Champions League clash against Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.
“Unfortunately, I’m unable to attend the funeral, I have pressing work commitments with Chicken Inn in Eric’s hometown of Ndola. I know I will be represented well.
“May his soul rest in peace.”