After announcing his retirement from active football, Big Bullets and former international midfielder James ‘Terminator’ Chilapondwa on Sunday, December 27, 2015 bade farewell to Bullets’ fans as the team lined up against Civil Service United (Civo) in a closing fixture for the 2015 TNM Super League season at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
However, the veteran midfielder was never used in the game, to the surprise of many people, who had expected to see the player playing for the last time.
There was anticipation from Bullets’ fans that Chilapondwa would be thrown into service at a later stage but the Bullets’ bench made all the three substitutions, omitting the longest serving player.
Towards the end of the match, Chilapondwa left the bench with some Bullets members and went round the stadium bidding farewell to the team’s supporters.
Asked why the player was not allowed to play his last game, coach Mabvuto Lungu said the technical panel did not want to take any chances in the presence of sponsors- Nyasa Manufacturing Ltd.
“We did not want to lose in the presence of our sponsors and we had a game plan. I am sure he (Chilapondwa) is a happy man that we have won the match. He is a senior guy and very matured and he must have understood the situation,” said Lungu.
The ‘Terminator’ has played for Bullets for a combined period of close to 10 years. He had a stint with Escom United after playing professional football in Tanzania but returned to his roots three years ago.
During his second spell with the ‘People’s Team,’ he has helped the team win the Presidential Cup, Carlsberg Cup and defend the TNM Super League title
Meanwhile, Bullets were parading the TNM Super League trophy in Lilongwe Monday morning as the team left the capital for Blantyre.
According to the team’s vice chairperson responsible for central region Austin ‘Austo’ Kasito, supporters escorted the team from Crown Hotel up to Bunda Road Block but others with vehicles went as far as Dedza.