The love and affection by which Edzai Kasinauyo was held in football circles was summed up by the avalanche of tributes that poured in yesterday for the former Warriors winger who passed away in South Africa on Friday.
Although circumstances surrounding his death were still unclear yesterday, unconfirmed reports said Kasinauyo (42), who played for Ajax Cape Town and Moroka Swallows in South Africa, succumbed to cancer.
A day after the Zimbabwe Football Association and the Premier Soccer League led the tributes for the former CAPS United midfielder, condolence messages continued to pour in yesterday.
Cape Town City chairman John Comitis, who gave Kasinauyo his breakthrough in South African football after bringing him to Cape Town Spurs in 1999 expressed his sadness via a statement from the Citizens.
"It is with great sadness that I must bid farewell to my dear friend and legendary footballer Edzai Kasinauyo. I was the one who brought Edzai to South Africa from Zimbabwe, along with the likes of Ian Gorowa and Edelbert Dinha," said Comitis.
"I spoke to Edzai just last week. I am still in shock. He was a true gentleman and an example for all those around him.
"Rest in peace, my friend," Comitis concluded.
Farook Kadodia, the chairman of South African side Maritzburg United also joined the growing list of mourners to send his condolences. Kasinauyo was the manager of Maritzburg United players Evans Rusike and Blessing Moyo.
Kadodia said in a club statement: "I am saddened to learn about the passing away of Edzai Kasinauyo, the former Moroka Swallows and Ajax player, who later became a player-manager.
"I am still in shock after speaking to him recently ahead of our preparations for the new season.
"Edzai was the manager of two of my players, Evans Rusike and Blessing Moyo. The Team of Choice extends condolences to his family and friends. May his soul rest in perfect peace."
Tunisia-based Zimbabwe international striker Matthew Rusike also paid tribute to Kasinauyo via Twitter.
"Rest in Peace Edzai Kasinauyo. Terrible news. He played a massive part in taking me to Kaizer Chiefs and forever grateful. Spoke to him a few months ago and he had impactful encouraging words for me. He seemed to be in a good place. Life is precious," Rusike said.
The Footballers Union of Zimbabwe said: "We're devastated to hear the news that Edzai Kasinauyo has passed away. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends."
According to a statement released by the South African Football Players Union, a memorial service for Kasinauyo will be held at AFM Kempton Park in Johannesburg at 4pm today.