Former national team player and Mighty Wanderers midfield maestro Leonard ‘Lenzo’ Malunga was on Friday laid to rest at Katimba Cemetery in Kanjedza Township, Blantyre in an emotional ceremony after passing away on Tuesday night.
Lenzo died of high blood pressure.
According to his cousin Yona Malunga, Lenzo “suddenly fell while having snacks at home.” He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Football supporters, former players and Wanderers officials including some officials from other clubs arrived at Zingwangwa where people converged for the funeral ceremony in the morning to pay their respects, with many weeping, blowing kisses and praying as they filed past his white casket.
Wearing sport regalia, and mostly in Mighty Wanderers colours, they sang and danced songs praising Lenzo.
Mighty Wanderers flags and banners written “Rest in peace Leonard Malunga “ were held up high.
The gloomy weather did not deter the highly spirited former players who played alongside Lenzo like Vales Kamzere, Thom Milanzi, Albert and Bob Mpinganjira, Ojuku Malunga, Sherry Msuku, Chimwemwe Gadi to say their final goodbye to a Wanderers legend.
Leonard is a former Wanderers and national team player so too were his brothers-in-law—William, the late Holman and Kennedy.
His uncle late John Green and cousin Yona were long-time chairpersons for the Nomads’ supporters committee.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu, who also played alongside Malunga at Wanderers and in the national team, described his demise as a great loss.
“What a fine young man he was. It’s very hard to imagine that he is no more. I have lots of fond memories about our playing days and famous victories that he personally engineered on the field of play. He had individual brilliance to turn around games when the going was tough,” said Nyamilandu in his eulogy.
Current Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira who was dubbed ‘Mpulumutsi’ credited Lenzo for his assists that made him to be a goal poacher.
Mpinganjira paid an emotional tribute to the departed former midfielder describing him as a genius.
“He was an asset,” said Mpinganjira, who was too devasted to comment.
Malunga, who could have turned 48 next month, is survived by a wife and five children.
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