HIGHLANDERS legend Douglas “British” Mloyi has paid tribute to his late teammate Tymon Mabaleka who died on Friday saying he was a technically-gifted and skilful player.
Mabaleka died at the age of 64 after shortly after he was taken to a hospital in Harare on Friday.
The former Bosso star midfielder was born in Nswazi in Umzingwane district and attended Lozikeyi Primary School in Bulawayo. He also went to Mpopoma High School before moving to Mzilikazi High School.
Mabaleka played for Eastlands Club before joining Highlanders in 1973 where he played with Lawrence Phiri, Josiah Nxumalo, Boet Van Ays, Billy Sibanda, Cavin Duberly, Barry Daka and the late Majuta Mpofu.
During the year that he joined the former league champions, they won the 1973 Chibuku Trophy and won two league titles in succession in 1974 and 1975.
Mabaleka hung up his boots in 1982 when he left for Harare to work for Gallo Records. Mloyi said he had known Mabaleka from the time that he joined Highlanders and was saddened by his sudden death.
“I knew him when he joined Highlanders from Eastlands. I was already there because I was a product of Highlanders,” he said.
“He joined in 1973 and at that time he was just above 20 years old. We played together for just about 10 years. Tymon was a humble person and he was always jovial. He was a sociable guy and even though we were younger than him it was as though we were of the same age. He got me a job at Gallo Records. In terms of football Tymon was good and he was a skillful player who was technically gifted. He was good with headers,” Mloyi said.
He added: “I missed him since he was staying far away. I am short of words I do not know what to say.
“We will miss people like Tymon who did a lot for the team. Young people would look up to him and learn what he did for the club.”
Mloyi said it is likely Mabaleka would be buried in Bulawayo on Thursday as there was communication that his body would arrive on Wednesday before burial the next day.
Mabaleka was the second in a family of nine — six boys and three girls — and was married to Josephine.