HomeSportFriday the 13th: Black day for Laher

Friday the 13th: Black day for Laher

Then 23 years old, the former Zimbabwe Under-20 and 23 captain was also awaiting a trial period with a Greek club coming in a few weeks time.
Had he known what fate beheld him on that day, Laher might have tried a number of the “dos” done on this day to avoid bad luck on this day.

However, like everyone else, Laher trotted into the stadium together with team-mate Ian Gorowa at 8pm later that day. His other countrymen Innocent Chikoya and Gilbert Mushangazhike were also there although featuring in the Manning Rangers line-up.

As the match wore on, Rangers’ Keryn Jordan came with a dangerous tackle on Laher’s ankle. With a cry of agony, Laher bade farewell to his playing career,  two months before his 24th birthday.

His short but illustrious professional soccer career had lasted just five years.

For three times, the player went under the knife, but all was in vain and Laher, who, at 21 had captained the Zimbabwe Under-23 team to a silver medal at the 1995 All Africa Games, was grounded.

“Three operations to mend the ankle were done, but I was not that lucky. I was due to go for a trial with a Greek club, but well, such is life,”he said.
However, unlike the fate that befalls many footballers upon being injured, Laher did not end up being in the streets as he was a beneficiary of playing in a professional league that believes in insuring players.

“Delphure Insurance Company gave me R300 000 compensation fund which came in batches. I managed to set up a sawmill company at Chansi Shopping Centre along Chiremba Road,” he said.

Laher however, believes he still has a lot to offer Zimbabwean soccer as a coach.

“I have a Level Two coaching certificate and if a club comes along, I will gladly take up the challenge. I have played for the senior national team and was also part of the Blackpool team that reached the semi-finals of the CAF Cup Winners Cup (now Confederations Cup),” he said.

Laher, who is married to Pamela, started his career at the age of 10 under the tutelage of Zivanai “Zifa” Chiyangwa at Highfield’s Zimbabwe Grounds.

 

How it all started for Laher

 

Laher played for Black Rhinos juniors before joining Francis Zimunya’s now defunct Zimbabwe Crakers which was then playing in the second Division.
His break into the Premiership came in 1993 when he was lured by the late goalkeeper George Mandizvidza to join police side Black Mambas.

Laher then moved to John Nyamasoka’s Rufaro Rovers in 1994 after the disbandment of Black Mambas, but reunited with most of his former Black Mambas teammates at Blackpool in 1995.

“Those were exciting times in my career as I reunited with Dinyero, Joseph Dube, Collins Kabote and George Mbwando. There were also players such as Edelbert Dinha, Alois Bunjira and Stewart Murisa. We won the Castle Cup and became league runners up to Dynamos under controversial circumstances in 1995,” he said.

“In 1995 I also captained the Under-23 team to the silver medal in the All Africa Games in Harare. I was then invited to Kaizer Chiefs for trials but they delayed signing me. I came back home and played my last game against Tanganda and Ajax Cape Town scouts were watching.

“They were looking for a direct replacement to Francis Shonhayi who had joined AmaZulu. The rest is now history,” said the father of five kids – Vusi (Jnr), Musa, Kondwani, Khalid and Spiwe.

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