President Edgar Lungu has paid tributes to the country’s legendary former Chipolopolo captain, Dickson Makwaza, who passed away this weekend at the age of 76.
Dickson Makwaza was one of the longest serving Chipolopolo captains and is remembered for having skippered the national team that lost to the then Zaire (now the DR Congo) in the 1974 Africa Cup of Nations final.
He died after a long battle with jaundice on Saturday morning at Ndola Teaching Hospital.
“I learnt with deep regret the passing of former national team captain and Mufulira Wanderers FC central defender Dick Makwaza. Mr Makwaza who was ‘Defender par Excellence’ will be remembered for his immense contribution to the development of football in Zambia both as a player and a coach,” President Lungu, who is also patron of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), stated. “I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to his family, and the entire football fraternity. May we all find fortitude and comfort in the Almighty God.”
Zambian legend Kalusha Bwalya also paid his tributes to Makwaza.
“I have fond memories of our long time together at Mighty Mufulira Wanderers FC. His contribution to Zambian football is immeasurable,” Bwalya said. “He led Zambia to the Africa Cup of Nations in 1974 in Egypt where Zambia reached its first ever final. It was the foundation and motivation on which Zambian football was built.”
His son, Linos Makwaza, who is also a former Zambia international, said he had lost not only his father but also his mentor.
“He is the reason for my successful career and now even his grandson Linos Jr is following in his footsteps.”
The president of FAZ, Andrew Kamanga, urged the current players to learn from Makwaza’s great spirit of sacrifice and dedication.
Makwaza, who left behind a widow, seven children, 19 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren, will be buried today.