HomeSportStadium reminds Max of good old days

Stadium reminds Max of good old days

To a passerby, the stadium is just one of those sporting centres lying idle in most parts of the countries.

However, to Max, the stadium is a constant reminder of the good old days when it used to be a fortress for Arcadia United.

Known for their passionate support of their team, Arcadia fans would throng the venue in their red and white regalia every time the team played.

Those were the days when the team had great players such as the late Bethel Salis, George “TNT” Rollo and was the pride to the community, competing against other teams with ease.

Since its formation in 1965, the club had been a marvel to the community, winning a number of trophies, among them the Castle Cup and the BAT Cup.
all that is history and what remains are the memories to former players such as Max.

To Max, the club was an embodiment of the Arcadia community’s culture and its death was a serious blow to the community.

“If I were to be asked about my last wish before I die, it is the return of Arcadia FC. The community just loved the team and I remember even when they were playing in the second division, they still supported the team.

“Its demise is a clear sign of what bickering can do to a community,” he said.

“I enjoyed more success as a player at CAPS United and later at Dynamos, but Arcadia gave me the launch pad. I started my career there as a junior in the ’70s. I remember when I was a young boy; we would troop to Danny Bismark Stadium to watch every premiership match.

“That is the reason why we have decided to come up with a team of junior players, from Under-14 to Under-16. The idea is to revive the club, but money will always be a problem,” said the 51-year-old father of four.

Talking of Arcadia, the team in which he broke into the first team in 1983, brings a wide smile and nostalgia to Max.

“My first full season at Arcadia was in 1984 and we lost by a single point to Black Rhinos in the championship race. We had an exciting team that had Charlie Jones and Mike Abrahams. I played as a striker that season and scored 17 goals,” he recalled.

The following season saw him reverting to his right back position and he remembers the club’s victory over Highlanders in the Chibuku Cup final.
“Beating Highlanders was very exciting for us, as they had good players such as Madinda Ndlovu, Mercedes Sibanda and Willard Khumalo,” said Max who was the club’s player of the year in 1986.

However, in 1988, in-house problems at the club prompted his move to CAPS United, where he won a number of medals, becoming a Soccer Star of the Year finalist from 1990 to 1992.

“To further my career, I had to move on. I won every Cup at CAPS United except the league title. I had a wonderful relationship with fans at CAPS United and they gave me the nickname “Murehwa.” I do not know what the name means, but I guess it is out of the respect they had for me as a player.

“We won the BAT Rosebowl Challenge, Rothmans Cup, Independence Trophy and the Natbrew Cup between 1989 and 1992,” said the former Warriors right back.

In 1989, Max got his first call to the national team, under Ghanaian Ben Koffie and was also part of the famous “Dream Team” which played under Reinhard Fabisch.

 

Injury led max to championship glory

 

A serious injury on Max’s knee in 1994 saw him being off-loaded by CAPS United only to resurface at rivals Dynamos.

“The then CAPS United coach Steve Kwashi thought I was never going to recover and off-loaded me. However, Sunday Chidzambwa, whom I had worked with at national team level, invited me to Dynamos.

“I am glad I joined the club because that is where I got my championship medal in 1995,” he said.

In 1996 he retraced his roots to Arcadia, where they reached the BP Cup final.

“I played for two seasons and retired in 1998. Because of the economic meltdown in the country, I left for the United Kingdom and only stayed there for a year. I did not like it there,” said Max, who now runs a courier company.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading