By Sports Desk
George “Mastermind” Shaya has died, he was 77
He passed away Tuesday morning at his Glen Norah Home
Shaya is among some of the most celebrated yesteryear footballers to have played for the Zimbabwe national team and Dynamos Football Club.
Shaya was born in Salisbury on Christmas eve in 1948 where he grew up along with other young boys of his age playing football using a homemade ball. His football career really began when he moved to Saint Paul’s High School in Murehwa.
While at Saint Paul’s, the young Shaya played for the school in the super league and the school team was at that time being coached by Father Edward Davies.
Shaya eventually joined Dynamos Football Club at the age of sixteen, a club that he would later go on to manage.
The “Mastermind” had a very colourful career with the glamour boys which saw Shaya being crowned Soccer Star of the Year a record five times, an achievement yet to be replicated.
He has often been described as a midfield genius of his day whose moves and dribbling ability could carve open any defence, which inevitably earned him the nickname “mastermind”.
Shaya was a very important player for Dynamos and proved decisive on many occasions during his tenure at the glamour boys. In his own opinion, his most exhilarating experience was when he curled a free kick past the Zimbabwe Saints Football Club wall to score the goal that would clinch the Castle Cup in 1976 for Dynamos Football Club
The stint with Moroka Swallows
Shaya also managed to play in the South African league for Moroka Swallows in 1975 but the experience was short lived as the “Mastermind” returned home claiming that he had grown homesick.
National Team Contribution
One of the milestones of Shaya’s illustrious football career was the way his selection to play for the Rhodesia World Cup team at the age of twenty-one. Afterward, the then Rhodesia national team was beaten 7-0 by neighboring South Africa, Shaya was asked to captain the team for the return match which they eventually drew 1-1.]
1. Soccer Star of the Year (1969)
2. Soccer Star of the Year (1972)
3. Soccer Star of the Year (1975)
4. Soccer Star of the Year (1976)
5. Soccer Star of the Year (1977)
George Shaya was diagnosed with the disease in 2014 which basically tampers with his memory such that he may fail to remember certain details about his life such as his way home, how many children or other things that come to mind easily when probed. Despite suffering from the ailment, Shaya still smokes and drinks which is said to be aggravating his condition.
On 27 February 2019, Shaya had his left leg amputated at Parirenyatwa Hospital. The leg was infected by an undisclosed disease. He was 72 years old. His medical bills were paid for by Dairibord, whose CEO, Anthony Mandiwanza is a former top referee.