THE football fraternity was yesterday plunged into mourning following the death of Zimbabwe Under-23 team manager Kisdo Matsika.
Matsika starred in a playing career, but later turned his passion into junior football development.
He died in the early hours of yesterday in Gweru at the age of 61.
The former Gweru United player collapsed at his Mkoba residence before being confirmed dead at a local hospital.
He is survived by his wife Phillis, four children and three grandchildren.
Mourners are gathered at his house No. 3551, Mkoba 16.
As of yesterday, burial arrangements were being processed, with the family still awaiting the arrival of some close relatives.
"It is sad we have lost him, we looked up to him for many things as a family and it is sad he has gone too soon," said his nephew Solomon.
"For now, nothing has been decided, we are waiting for some of our family members to join us and, from there, we will start discussing burial arrangements."
Matsika's friend, Wonder Chaka, was pained by the death of his colleague for close to 50 years.
"We have lost a great man and I have lost a very close friend, he has become more of family to me.
"We played together as boys, grew up together and our families are even very close, the relationship has been in existence for more than 45 years. He had a passion for junior football and I can say his death is a blow to the development of the game," said Chaka.
ZIFA president Felton Kamambo also sent his condolence message to the Matsika family.
"We learnt of Kisdo Matsika's death with profound sadness. After serving the game as a player he did not retire, he continued to devote his time working with the junior national teams.
"We will miss his dedication towards uplifting football. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and all whose lives he touched as a family man and a football servant."