From goalkeeper Emmanuel Nyahuma, Davies and John Mbidzo, Shingi Nyamadzawo, Charles Kaseke, Herbert Mbabvu, Kingston Rinemhota, to William and Wilfred Mugeyi, the list is endless.
One unheralded name to have worn that black and yellow jersey is once feared attacking midfielder, Danny Jim, who went on to represent junior national teams with success.
Born in Highfields 40 years ago, Jim contributed immensely to the success of the Peter Nyama-led Aces team of 1992. That generation won the championship and produced three of the league’s best 11 of the season – with Wilfred Mugeyi getting the Soccer Star of the Year crown.
“I still vividly remember those days, when we were unstoppable anywhere in the country. The Mugeyis were on top of their game and that is why we won the championship,” said Jim recently.
“It was not easy though, with competition from top teams like Caps United, Dynamos and Highlanders.”
In 1993, the Harare team lifted the Independence Cup, to show that their league win in the previous season had not been a fluke.
“My consistency saw national team selectors include me in the Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 sides. I also wanted to play for national team, but that did not happen because of the competition for positions at the highest level. Zimbabwe just had excellent players who represented the country with great aplomb.”
Perhaps Jim’s greatest tragedy was that he reached his peak during the “Dream Team” era, where even such talented footballers like Moses Chunga and Joe Mugabe could not find a way past Willard Khumalo, Rahman Gumbo, Benjamin Nkonjera, Kennedy Nagoli and Norman Mapeza.
He was however, called in to the national team training sessions, under the now-late German tactician, Reinhard Fabisch.
“The game was very physical back then, but rough players only made us good the midfielders that we became,” he added.
Jim got his third winners’ medal – the 1996 Madison Championship Trophy, with Air Zimbabwe Jets in 1996, the same year they were promoted to the premiership.
He played alongside the likes of Richard Choruma and Benjani Mwaruwari, before moving to Arcadia United four years later.
He now lives in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, where he runs a general dealer shop, but still has love for his country’s sport.
He quit the game aged 34 in 2006, after sustaining a knee injury while featuring as a player coach for first division side, Golden Kopje Mine of Chinhoyi.
The saddest day of his career was when Golden Kopje lost four players and a head coach in a fatal road accident in 2006.Post published in: Football