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George Shaya dies

by Staff reporter
24 Aug 2021 at 17:05hrs | Views
DYNAMOS football legend George Shaya has died.

He was 77.

Shaya passed on early this morning at his home in Glen Norah A, Harare. Popularly known as "Mastermind", Shaya turned out for Dynamos during his playing days and he is the only player to be named Soccer Star of the Year five times, a feat never to be eclipsed up to today.

Shaya is regarded as one of the finest footballers ever to wear the blue and white jersey of Dynamos.

Mourners are gathered at House Number 4538, Mucheke Crescent, Glen Norah A in Harare.

Burial arrangements will be announced in due course.

Shaya, who began his football career at St. Paul's Musami in Murehwa under Father Davis, was part of the all-conquering Dynamos side that won five of six cup tournaments in 1976 (only losing to Zimbabwe Saints in the semi-finals of the Chibuku Trophy), scoring 67 goals over the season.

In that team, Shaya rubbed shoulders with fellow talented players such as the late goalkeeper Matthew Mwale, Isaac Nhema, Simon Sachiti (late), Shaw "Kojak" Handriade (late), Shepherd Murape, Shadreck Ngwenya (late), Kuda Muchemeyi (late), Daniel "Dhidhidhi" Ncube (late), David "Broomboy" George, Oliver Kateya (late) and Cremio Mapfumo. He won the Soccer Star of the Year award a record five times in 1969, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977 before he hung up his boots in 1980, the year that another Dynamos legend, the late David "Yogi" Mandigora won the same award.

Shaya won the Soccer Star of the Year award for the first time in 1969 when his efforts for the national team against Australia were taken very much into account. He was honoured with his fifth and final Soccer Star of the Year award in 1977 — and his third in succession — at a time when he was at the very peak of his athletic powers. The football career of Shaya began in the streets of Harare's high-density suburb of Mbare, where he played from dawn to dusk with a ball moulded out of paper and plastic bags. In 1980, after 17 seasons of top football in then Rhodesia, the diminutive Shaya was unquestionably the greatest locally produced player the country has known.

As a child, Shaya lived for football. By the time he moved into organised football at St. Paul's Mission in Murehwa, the street sessions with his friends in Mbare paid dividends — his footwork, playing with makeshift balls, had developed to an amazingly high degree. At St. Paul's he played for the school in the Super League and his control and ball skills were of such a standard that he represented the "glamour" club, Dynamos, in senior football at the age of 16. This was the start of a glorious career with Dynamos, the team he eventually later managed.

Shaya gave immaculate service to the club and was rewarded with a benefit match during the 1980 season. With them, Shaya earned the nickname "Mastermind" which accurately summed up his role as a midfield general and creator of scoring movements.

Source - theherald