Zimbabwe: Teenage Footballer Collapses, Dies

22 October 2019

A teenage Zimbabwean footballer, Cedric Dube, collapsed during a league match in Bulawayo on Sunday and died.

He was 18 and was playing for Division Three side Talen Vision.

Cedric was a student at Mpopoma High School.

He collapsed during a league match between his team and Bulawayo City at the Barbourfields B Arena on Sunday.

The footballer was in the middle of writing his Ordinary Level examinations and had already sat for two subjects out of the seven he had registered.

Dube played for the ambitious Talen Vision, a Division Three side in the Bulawayo Province, which serves as the feeder to the Division One club.

He collapsed and died during the match.

As fate would have it, the utility player, who commanded a first team place in the team, arrived late for the match.

His coach advised him he would have to start from the bench. Dube was introduced in the second half, but after only 10 minutes on the pitch, he collapsed and landed on his face.

He was alone at the time, unmarked.

Medics from both teams rushed to try and help him and, sensing the seriousness of the condition, they instructed the player be rushed to the hospital.

Dube was taken to Mpilo Hospital by the Talen Vision team manager's car as it was going to take longer to call an ambulance.

Mpilo Hospital is close to Barbourfields, but the player was, unfortunately, pronounced dead upon arrival. Post-mortem results have since ruled the death was due to an asthmatic attack.

His grandfather, Caleb Sibanda, who raised him from the age of seven months, said he was treated for asthma when he was still a boy.

"He left home as usual to go and play a match, but he didn't even play for more than 10 minutes. He appeared like he got a cramp and fell down.

"Two days before the fateful day, I heard him coughing, but he said he was okay. His grandmother offered some pills, but he said he was okay and it did not require that.

"He was diagnosed with asthma when he was still a young boy, but he was treated and was fine. Even when he featured for Mpopoma at the NASH tournament in Marondera,he never complained of any discomfort," he said.

Sibanda said the family was in shock that the budding footballer met his death this way.

"I started looking after this boy when he was only seven months old because my daughter had other twin children to look after," he said.

"So, we decided, together with my wife, that it was better to take good care of him.

"He was now 18 years and I was looking forward to the day he would also look after me.

"The family is very sad, no death is easy, but honestly, this has shaken the family."

Talen Vision operations manager Brian Moyo, who is closely working with the family during the bereavement, said the players and club officials had all been shattered.

"The players collapsed when they heard the news. We have a group of young players, so you can imagine everything unfolding in their eyes.

"He had a cousin in the team, and this has been difficult on every one.

"He was in the middle of his examinations. He was a versatile young player, who was comfortable in different positions, but had grown so much in the centre half position and was in the Under-20 team," said Moyo. The Footballers Union of Zimbabwe paid tribute to the player on their Twitter page.

"We were saddened to hear of the passing of Talen Vision Division 3 player Cedric Dube. "Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.

"May his soul rest in eternal peace," tweeted FUZ.

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