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TEXAN PHIRI PASSES AWAY

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MBABANE – Well-travelled Zambian coach, Texan Phiri, who spent half of his coaching career in the country, has passed on.


He succumbed to death yesterday in his home country, Zambia. Phiri is renowned for leading local teams, which include Royal Leopard, Young Buffaloes, XI Men in Flight, Manzini Sundowns (Now Denver Sundowns), Tambuti, Malanti Chiefs and Tambuti.


He then joined Botswana Ecco City Greens in 2016 before going back home to Zambia, where he was leading Eastlands Football Academy. A source close to the matter confirmed yesterday. “It is true that he passed away on Wednesday morning but I don’t have many details concerning his death,” said a source.


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Phiri was among the Zambian Coaches who left a huge mark in the local football and others include Jan Simulambo, George Chikokola and Francis ‘Mkhulu’ Banda among others.


He won the SwaziBank Cup (Now EswatiniBank Cup) in 2011 with Royal Leopard and it was in his first season with the police side, which he joined after having steered Malanti Chiefs to third position in 2010 in the MTN Premier League and that was then the club’s best finish in the league in history.


Phiri’s friends were already sending their condolences after Chipolopolo Die Hard fans website released a tribute to Phiri.
“Thoughts and prayers are with the Phiri family following bereavement in the pillar of the family in well-travelled Zambian coach Texan Phiri, who passed on in the early hours of today (Yesterday). Phiri, who was a Profound Warriors legend, has left a big mark on the football landscape not only in Zambia but in Southern Africa where he coached teams like Royal Leopard, Young Buffaloes and most recently Tambuti FC.


His biggest high was when he went to Botswana to take over the coaching job at Francistown based outfit Ecco City Greens.


The late coach made them giant killers and thus endearing him to the Ecco City Greens faithful or mamoja as they are affectionately referred to,” reads the tribute.


The website described Phiri’s death as a big blow to the Zambian Football fraternity and he returnd home late last year and was coaching Livingstone-based side Eastlands Football Academy and was still on the wanted list of two clubs in the region.


Young Buffaloes Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sandile Gwebu said they were not yet aware of the matter when called yesterday afternoon.

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