Zim Saints legend dies

FORMER Warriors and Zimbabwe Saints striker Shane Khamal died in Auckland, New Zealand, on Sunday after battling with cancer for about four months.

FORTUNE MBELE
SPORTS REPORTER

His brother Edris yesterday confirmed Shane’s passing away saying the former Cosmos, Triangle, Zimbabwe Saints and Kaizer Wolves player was diagnosed with cancer in August and deteriorated until the time of his death.

“He was diagnosed with cancer of the liver early in August,” Edris said.

“At first he was diagnosed with colon cancer, but it had already spread to his liver. He was put on chemotherapy, but it never helped. We went there (New Zealand) with my two sisters at the end of August and spent three weeks with him.

“Then he was still fine and walking, but had lost a lot of weight and his condition started deteriorating. About a month ago, his condition got worse, but he held on until the time of his death.”

Born on February 1 1966 in a family of three boys and three girls in which he was third born, Shane did his primary education at Barham Green Primary School in Bulawayo in the 1970s before moving to Founders High School.

While at Founders, where he also was a boxer, Shane played for Cosmos together with brothers Pernell and Henry “Bully” Mckop and former Eagles defender Solly Habib.

Edris said Shane won a Rhodesian championship title in boxing in 1979.

After school, he moved to the Lowveld, where he played for Triangle, being apprenticed as a fitter and turner there.

He moved back to Bulawayo where he joined Zimbabwe Saints and was part of the championship winning team that was coached by Roy Barreto in which he featured with other greats, the Mckop brothers, Joseph Machingura, Jimmy Phiri, Misheck Sibanda and the late John Sibanda, among others.

While at Zimbabwe Saints, he was part of the national team that featured against Algeria in a World Cup qualifier.

After top-flight action, Shane and Pernell formed Kaizer Wolves which started in the lower ranks. While in Division Three, they got through to the quarter-finals of the Zifa Cup after beating Rio Tinto, then coached by Joseph Zulu.

They lost 4-2 to Tanganda in the semi-final.

After that he went on to play social football and left for New Zealand in 2001 where he worked for a conveyer belt installations and maintenance company after which he commuted to Australia in 2012 where he worked for a mining company.

Pondering on returning to work in New Zealand, Shane discovered he was not well in August and retired from work.

He leaves behind two daughters Nicole and Dienga, son Brendon he had with ex-wife Collete and another son Danyon.

“He was such a vibrant person and did his best for everybody,” Edris said.

“It’s a sad loss. He was very close to Pernell (Mckop). On behalf of the family, I would like to thank friends and family for all the support and messages of comfort during his illness.”

Edris said Shane would be cremated in New Zealand tomorrow and the family would hold a memorial service at St Anthony’s Catholic Church in Barham Green on November 29.

The brother said that was according to Shane’s wish.

A devastated Pernell yesterday said: “It is with regret that I break the news that former national team player and Zimbabwe Saints legend and 1988 title-winning member Shane John Khamal has lost his life in Auckland New Zealand to cancer.

“Go well Shane and score a few goals in heaven for me.”

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