NKANA president Everisto Kabila says the club has lost a reservoir of football wisdom in the death of club legend Stone Chibwe on Tuesday. And the Football Association of Zambia has described Chibwe as a patriot. Chibwe died suddenly at Kitwe Central Hospital where he was rushed on Monday after he collapsed at his house. He was in the stands on Saturday when Nkana lost 2-1 to Lumwana Radiants. Chibwe was part of the legendary 1974-76 Nkana side that dominated football with the likes of Nelson Sapi, Moses Simwala, Fred Mwila senior and several stars of his generation popularly known as ‘ifikangabwe.’
He was a member of the 1974 KK-11 AfCON team in Egypt.
After he retired from active football, he joined coaching and coached Mindolo, Mutondo Stars before he trekked back to Nkana to become team manager and later took charge of coaching on the interim basis after then coach Simwala was sidelined following poor results and went to win the title with the likes of Beston Chambeshi and Fighton Simukonda in the team.
He was later appointed technical director leading to his last appointment as grounds manager at the club.
Commenting on Chibwe’s death, Kabila said the former FAZ life member was instrumental in the success of the club during his time.
“Obviously, we are saddened by his death, he played a pivotal role in the club’s history and success. He was a player, team manager, technical director, coach and grounds manager most recently, he was a club legend and his death is obviously a big blow to us. We join millions of Zambians in mourning our legends, just late last month we lost Nelson Sapi, so we are deeply saddened,” said Kabila.
As grounds manager, Chibwe was instrumental in establishing the Nkana training pitch annex, which is used by the club’s academy under the leadership of now club patron John Chiwele in 2013.
Meanwhile, FAZ has sent a message of condolences to the Chibwe family.
FAZ spokesperson Mwazi Chanda in a statement described Chibwe as a patriot.
“Mr Chibwe has been a prominent feature in Zambian football from his time as a player in the 1970s and then as part of the Nkana Football Club team management in different capacities. As a national team player in the KK11 squad, he represented the country at the 1974 Africa Cup in Egypt and during his career he also coached at Mindolo United football club, where he identified and developed young talent. The sudden loss of this Zambian patriot will leave a gap in the voices that have contributed to the development of football at national and grassroots level. He was recognised as a Life Member of the Football Association of Zambia and it is with deep regret that we have learned of his death,” read the statement from FAZ.