ONE of Zimbabwe’s finest footballers, George “Mastermind” Shaya has died.
He was 77.
The legendary Shaya passed on at his home in Glen Norah A, Harare early this morning.
He became a household name as a mesmerising attacking star for giants, Dynamos and holds the domestic record of being crowned soccer star of the year on five occasions, including three consecutive times.
That unrivalled feat still stands.
Shaya was named the local league’s best player in 1969, 1972, 1975, 1976 and 1977.
He kick-started his career at St. Paul’s Musami in Murehwa, before his dazzling talent earned him a move to the Glamour Boys as a 16-year-old and starred in their march to glory.
His sterling exploits in the 1976 season steered DeMbare to five cup triumphs as he netted 67 goals.
At 21, Shaya represented Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) in World Cup qualifiers against Australia in Mozambique in 1969.
In 1975, he turned out for Moroka Swallows in South Africa.
He also wore the national team armband when they held South Africa 1-1 at home in 1977.
Nicknamed “The Mastermind” for his hypnotising ability on the ball, Shaya was a dynamite that came in a small package.
Celebrated as an iconic figure, the ex-star hung up his boots in 1980 after turning on the power for 17 seasons on the domestic front.